A firefighter from the Los Angeles County Fire Department was taken into custody near an El Monte school hours after a woman was allegedly sexually assaulted in the area on Wednesday, police said.
The victim was walking at about 8:15 a.m. near Portrero School, located at 2611 Portero Ave., when the suspect approached her from behind, grabbed her and then allegedly sexually assaulted her, a news release from the El Monte Police Department stated.
The woman ran away and was able to flag down a male witness. She then notified school officials, who contacted El Monte police.
Meanwhile, the suspect fled the scene in a black Ford truck, according to the release.
At 12:40 p.m., officers responded to the Portrero School after receiving a report of a suspicious person in a black truck, police officials said. When they located the truck, described as a 2014 Ford 150, officers determined it matched the description of the suspect vehicle given to them earlier in the day.
The driver has been identified as 38-year-old Richard Loken of Moreno Valley, police officials said.
Once officers began speaking to Loken, they allegedly noticed a handgun — which was later discovered to have been loaded — on the seat next to him, according to the release.
Loken was then detained.
Meanwhile, officers allegedly also found a personal Taser and handcuffs, police said.
Officers subsequently arrested the firefighter and transported him to a police station. Loken was later identified as the suspect in the earlier sexual assault case, the release stated.
He also faced charges of driving under the influence and possessing a firearm near school grounds, according to police officials.
Loken’s bail was set at $55,000, according to L.A. County inmate records. He was scheduled to be arraigned on Friday.
The L.A. County Fire Department was cooperating with the investigation.
Anyone with information regarding any similar incidents involving Loken has been asked to contact El Monte police Department at 626-580-2114, or by emailing email@example.com.