jail cells
Example of jail cells. Photo via Pixabay

A man with a lengthy criminal history was charged Wednesday with breaking into a Santa Ana apartment and groping a woman as she slept just a few days after the ex-con was released from jail this past weekend.

David Rivas Ceja, 38, was charged with burglary and assault with the intent to commit a sex offense, both felonies, as well as a misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct by loitering on private property.

Ceja allegedly broke into an apartment in the 1300 block of South Standard Avenue about 6:20 a.m. Tuesday and began groping the resident as she slept, according to Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna. The woman awoke as he was “fondling” her and shouted for help, prompting Ceja to run away, Bertagna said.

“Her brother wakes up, sees the guy running out and the chase is on,” Bertagna said.

The brother ran Ceja down and held him until police arrived and took the suspect to a hospital to be treated for injuries suffered in the scuffle with the victim’s sibling, Bertagna said.

Ceja is expected to be arraigned sometime Wednesday.

According to court records, Ceja was released from custody Saturday after serving what probation officials call a flash incarceration stemming from a probation violation.

Ceja pleaded guilty Sept. 13 to criminal threats and was sentenced to a year in jail, but he was released because he had already served enough time behind bars while his case was pending, according to court records. Ceja was found in violation of probation Oct. 25 and was sent back to jail for another 120 days, but he was given credit for 32 days already served.

Ceja is still on five years probation.

According to court records, Ceja was sentenced to two years in prison in August 2018 for a series of probation violations stemming from a 2017 plea bargain for carrying a dirk or dagger. When he was released from prison in January of this year he failed to report to probation and was arrested again in February on the criminal threats case.

A probation official filed a report in October saying Ceja has an “extensive criminal history dating back to 1998 with arrests for burglary, assault with a deadly weapon, possession of a controlled substance (multiple), possession of drug paraphernalia, parole violations,” as well as possession of a switchblade, giving a false identification to police, possession for sale of cocaine base and gang activity.

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