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Man Arrested After Allegedly Attacking Deaf Woman in Laguna Hills, Brandishing Knife at Aliso Viejo Home

The Orange County Sheriff's Department provided this sketch and booking photo of Paul Emiliano on Dec. 5, 2018.

The Orange County Sheriff's Department provided this sketch and booking photo of Paul Emiliano on Dec. 5, 2018.

Officials on Wednesday announced the arrest of a man accused of attacking a deaf woman in Laguna Hills then brandishing a knife at two individuals at an Aliso Viejo residence the following day.

Paul Emiliano, a 39-year-old Aliso Viejo resident, allegedly followed the first victim as she walked on a trail near Alicia Parkway and Via Lomas in Laguna Hills around 6:30 p.m. on Sunday.

According to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, Emiliano slammed the 35-year-old woman to the ground and tried to choke her. The victim, who is deaf, managed to ask for help after running about a quarter of a mile, the agency said.

Deputies responded and searched the area where the incident happened but did not find the perpetrator, the Sheriff’s Department said. The agency was able to create a sketch from the victim’s description of her attacker.

The next evening, at about 7:15 p.m., officers received reports of a knife-wielding man threatening two people at a home on Abbeywood Lane in Aliso Viejo.

Investigators identified Emiliano through a doorbell surveillance camera, the Sheriff’s Department said.

The agency said when he was taken into custody on Monday, deputies recognized that he matched the sketch from Sunday’s incident. The victim was also able to identify him, the Sheriff’s Department added.

Emiliano was being held on $1,020,000 bail, inmate records show.

Detectives believe that Emiliano may have additional victims of attempted kidnapping or other crimes. They urged anyone with information to call the Sheriff’s Department at 714-647-7000. Those who wish to remain anonymous can contact Orange County Crime Stoppers at 855-TIP-OCCS.

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