A 22-year-old man suspected of sexual assault was arrested last week after allegedly luring two women into his truck in Ventura.
Eliel Mejia was arrested on Sept. 30, one day after a woman said she was approached by him and lured into his truck at Plaza Park, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office stated in a news release Tuesday.
The victim said Mejia used the pretense of smoking marijuana to get her in the truck and said she remembered him having two pit bull dogs.
Mejia is believed to have then taken the victim to a dead end on a dirt road in the unincorporated area north of Ventura, where he allegedly threatened and assaulted her with the intent to commit a sexual assault, the news release stated.
“Mejia strangled, tased, and threatened to kill the victim while he was holding a knife,” the Sheriff’s Office stated in the news release.
The victim managed to flee and contacted a California Highway Patrol officer.
An earlier incident occurred on Sept. 13, prompting deputies to respond to the 300 block of Hillmont Road in Ventura.
A woman in this incident said she was standing outside a liquor store on Ventura Avenue when Mejia lured her into his truck, also under the pretense of smoking marijuana, the Sheriff’s Office stated.
This victim also described Mejia as having two pit bull dogs with him.
Mejia allegedly drove the victim to an orchard in an unincorporated area east of Ventura where he “forcefully sexually assaulted her,” the Sheriff’s Office stated.
Investigators determined the two incidents involved the same suspect and arrested Mejia in the city of Santa Paula.
During the arrest, authorities say Mejia was in possession of the stun gun believed to be used during the second assault.
More evidence was allegedly found during a search of Mejia’s home and vehicle.
Mejia is expected to face multiple charges, including sexual assault, assault with a deadly weapon and criminal threats, the Sheriff’s Office stated.
He was being held on $500,000 bail.
Mejia appeared in court on Tuesday.
The Sheriff’s Office released an image of Mejia because they believe there could be additional victims.
Mejia’s truck was described as a white 1997 Dodge Ram extended cab with a California license plate number of 84058H1.
Anyone with information regarding Mejia is asked to contact Detective DeLaCerda at 805-384-4724.