A Santa Ana man who allegedly exposed himself to three women and tried to sexually assault one of the victims has been arrested in Mexico, police said Friday.
Fabian Villa, 28, was located Thursday in Mexico and returned to the U.S., according to a Santa Ana Police Department news release.
The initial investigation began the night of Dec. 27, 2016, when a woman was approached by the suspect as she parked her vehicle near the 1600 block of South Pacific Avenue in Santa Ana, according to the release.
Villa is accused of opening the driver’s side vehicle door, entering the car and pulling his pants down, exposing himself to the woman, according to the release.
He then allegedly forced himself on top of and tried to sexually assault the victim, who screamed and successfully fought him off, police said.
Villa got away on foot.
“He tried to force his upper body on me. I struggled. He just kept saying, ‘Come on, come on,'” the female told KTLA three days after the incident, sharing her story with the hope that the assailant would be caught.
Police said at the time that the same culprit targeted another couple in the neighborhood approximately 14 minutes after the first incident, though it was unclear if Villa was the suspect in that case as well.
Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna described the perpetrator as a “sexual predator” in the days following the incidents.
After the victim reported the case, the woman’s vehicle was processed for DNA evidence, and samples were then sent to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department Crime Lab to be analyzed.
In February, detectives were notified that DNA from the victim’s car matched Villa’s, according to police.
Additionally, two other indecent exposure victims came forward after the first case. In each case, the suspect was driving a stolen white Toyota Camry, according to the release.
The Camry was later recovered in San Diego; Villa’s identification, which he had left behind, was also found in the car, police said.
At that point, the U.S. Marshals got involved in the case and learned that Villa had fled to Mexico. The agency worked with Mexican officials to locate the suspect.
After being taken into custody and returned to the U.S. to face charges, Villa was jailed in Orange County.
He is being held on suspicion of assault with the intent to commit a sexual offense, assault with a deadly weapon, auto theft, receiving stolen property and indecent exposure, the release stated.
His bail has been set at $1 million.