Man Arrested After Allegedly Trying to Drug, Rape Woman at Santa Monica Restaurant

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A man suspected of trying to drug a woman at an upscale restaurant in Santa Monica with the alleged intent to rape her has been arrested, police confirmed Monday.

The incident occurred at Fig restaurant, located inside the Fairmont Hotel in Santa Monica. (Credit: KTLA)

The incident occurred at Fig restaurant, located inside the Fairmont Hotel in Santa Monica. (Credit: KTLA)

Michael Hsu was taken into custody on charges of intent to commit rape, and drugging with the intent to commit a rape, a Santa Monica Police Department official said.

The case has gained nationwide attention after a woman took to Facebook to discuss how she and her friends stopped the alleged assailant in a now-viral post that has been shared more than 100,000 times.

On Friday, Sonia Ulrich posted that she and two female friends had been enjoying the happy hour at Fig, a restaurant inside the Fairmont Hotel off of Ocean Avenue, when they saw a man put something in another woman's drink.

The trio thought the woman had been on a date with the man; she had gone to the bathroom when he allegedly slipped something into the drink, according to Ulrich.

"After a few 'Oh god. What do we do's,' I got up to find her in the bathroom to tell her. Warn her. Tell her to get up and leave this creep. Make him drink it. Something," Ulrich wrote. "So, after feeling awkward hanging out by the sinks in the bathroom till she was done, I approached. 'Hey! Um, this is kind of weird, but, uh, we saw the guy you were with put something in your drink.'"

The woman was stunned, telling Ulrich that the two worked together and had known each other for more than a year, according to Ulrich's post. He was actually one of her best friends, she said.

Meanwhile, the woman who first noticed the incident -- identified in the post as Marla Saltzer -- flagged down a waiter and explained to him and her friends what she saw.

"'He pulled her glass toward him, kind of awkwardly, then he took out a little black vial. He opened it up and dropped something in. Then he tried to play it cool, like checking his phone and hiding the vial in his hand and then trying to bring it back down slyly,'" Ulrich recalled Saltzer saying.

The man apparently then realized he was being watched by another woman, Monica Kenyon, who was also with the group, Ulrich wrote.

Meanwhile, the would-be-victim sat down at her table after the restroom encounter with Ulrich.

After learning of the alleged attempted drugging, the restaurant's manager went over to the pair to ensure everything was OK, and to offer the woman water.

She then continued the dinner with the man until Santa Monica police showed up to question him, according to the post. He was taken away.

Later, the head of the security went to the women's table to tell them that because of their quick-thinking actions, they were able to review security footage and found that a camera had captured the incident.

"They got him on tape. They had proof of him drugging this girl. They took the glass away as evidence," Ulrich wrote.

Police confirmed they have the surveillance and the drink in their possession.

As word of what transpired spread through the restaurant, other diners walked over to the women and thanked them for taking action, she said. A number of people told them they or someone they knew had been the victim of a drugging.

"At least 10 stories of being personally affected by someone like this ... Those were only the ones who knew what went down," Ulrich wrote.

She concluded the post by thanking the restaurant's manager and staff, as well as the hotel, for acting on the matter and preventing the woman from being harmed.

Hsu, 24, was arrested Thursday on the felony charges, according to Los Angeles County jail records. His total bail amount was set 1 million, the record showed.

The case was expected to be presented to the L.A. County District Attorney's Office on Tuesday, according to police.

KTLA's Steve Bien contributed to this story. 

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