A 30-year-old man was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of at least one of four attacks over a nearly two-week period on female victims on and near the Aliso Creek Hiking Trail.
Christopher Lopez of Aliso Viejo was arrested about noon and booked on suspicion of misdemeanor child molestation or annoyance, said Orange County sheriff’s Sgt. Joses Walehwa.
It wasn’t immediately clear which attack he was linked to, Walehwa said. Three of the victims are juveniles; the other is a 28-year-old woman.
The latest attack occurred Tuesday. The adult victim was walking on the trial about 8:45 a.m. when she heard someone jogging behind her just before she was grabbed by the elbow, according to Carrie Braun of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. The woman, whose name was withheld, head-butted the suspect, who let her go and ran away, Braun said.
She described her attacker as a white man about 5-foot-10 with medium-length dark brown hair, wearing a black sweatshirt with a large colored logo on the back and a ripped pair of jeans.
On Sept. 18 about 6:30 p.m., an 11-year-old girl was walking her dog along the Aliso Creek Trail in Laguna Hills near Via Lomas and Sheep Hills Park when a man grabbed her and tried to drag her toward some bushes, Braun said. When the girl screamed for help, the suspect ran off. That suspect was described as a Latino man with short, dark hair who was wearing a red Angels sweatshirt, blue jeans and black shoes.
On Sept. 17 about 4 p.m. along the Aliso Creek Hiking Trail in Aliso Viejo, a 16-year-old girl was walking home from school when she was touched by a suspect described as a Latino man in his 30s, with short, black hair, 5-foot-6 and weighing about 140 pounds.
About 9 a.m. on Sept. 12, a 12-year-old girl said a suspect touched her as she walked to school near Windsong and Aliso Creek Road. That suspect was described as a white man in his early 30s with blond hair, who wore sunglasses and was dressed in black clothing.
Last week, a task force of multiple investigators was assembled to investigate the attacks.
Anyone with information that could help detectives was asked to call 714-647-7000. Orange County Crime Stoppers will accept anonymous tips at 855-TIP-OCCS.