Jorge Cruz de Armas
Jorge Cruz de Armas. Photo: Santa Ana Police Department

A 27-year-old Tustin man was behind bars Wednesday on suspicion of attempting to rape a woman in Santa Ana this week.

Jorge Cruz De Armas was arrested at his workplace in Costa Mesa Tuesday night, according to Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna.

De Armas was driving his pickup truck in Santa Ana about 4:30 p.m. Monday when he offered a 28-year-old woman a ride, Bertagna said. The Tustin resident was walking home from downtown Santa Ana at the time, Bertagna added.

When the woman asked him where he was going, he told her he was looking for a Wells Fargo branch, Bertagna said. The woman told her there’s one on the way to her home and that she would direct him there, Bertagna said.

After she got into the truck, he told her, “I want sex,” but she declined, Bertagna said. When he asked for her phone number so he could call her for a date, she said she didn’t have one, he added.

The suspect then drove her to an alley in the 1600 block of East Palm Street, Bertagna said.

“It’s difficult to find,” Bertagna said. “You have to know it to find it.”

The woman remarked they weren’t at a Wells Fargo branch, he responded, “I told you I’m going to get some sex,” before he “jumps on top of her,” Bertagna alleged.

Investigators suspect he “choked her out” because she didn’t remember him putting duct tape over her mouth, Bertagna said.

A witness who was attempting to turn from the alley into a parking lot where he worked, but was blocked by the pickup truck, got out of his vehicle to ask the driver to move, Bertagna said.

He heard the victim’s muffled screams and saw she was muzzled, so he pulled open the truck’s door and helped the woman out before the suspect hastily drove off, Bertagna said.

The good Samaritan managed to take pictures of the car and captured an image of the license plate, which led detectives to De Armas, Bertagna said. When police arrested the suspect the duct tape was still in the vehicle, Bertagna said.

Police suspect there may be more victims and asked anyone with information to contact detectives at (714) 245-8378 or through email at emajors@santa-ana.org. Orange County Crime Stoppers will accept anonymous tips at (855) TIP-OCCS.

–City News Service

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