One Year Ago Today (July 2, 2021)…A 46-year-old sex offender was arrested in Venice after allegedly groping one woman as she slept and exposing himself to another woman, police said.

The first woman woke up in the “in the early morning hours” at her residence in the 500 block of Rialto Avenue, near Andalusia Avenue, and allegedly found Arnoldo Cruz, of El Monte, reaching through her open window and groping her, according to a Los Angeles Police Department statement.

The woman fought Cruz off, but he allegedly remained outside her window “while indicating he wanted to sexually assault her,” police said. Cruz fled the scene when the woman called 911.

Detectives arrived at the scene to search for evidence and found the second woman, who claimed she saw Cruz exposing himself to her from outside her window.

Detectives circulated on social media a request for video footage from the scene and obtained photos of Cruz. While searching for additional video footage, detectives found Cruz a few blocks away from the scene of the alleged assaults and arrested him on suspicion of assault with the intent to commit rape during the commission of a residential burglary.

Residents in the area also directed police to Cruz’s vehicle, which he had left running near the original victim’s home.

Investigators researched Cruz’s criminal history and found he was registered as a sex offender in Colorado, but never registered his status with any California law enforcement agency, according to a police statement.

Cruz was booked into the LAPD Pacific Community Police Station Jail and his bail was set at $200,000.

Anyone with information of the alleged assaults was asked to call the LAPD Operations West Bureau Special Assault Section at 213-473-0447. Calls made during non-business hours or on weekends should be made to 877-527-3247.

Anonymous tips can be called in to Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477 or submitted online at lacrimestoppers.org.

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