Man sought in attack on woman at park in Aliso Viejo; may be linked to previous attack

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Investigators asked for the public’s help in identifying a man who kidnapped and assaulted a woman on a trail at an Aliso Viejo park on Thursday and may be responsible for a similar incident reported at the same park in January, officials said.

The most recent attack took place shortly before 5 p.m. at Woodfield Park, 26812 Woodfield, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

Detectives are seeking this man in connection with the kidnapping and assault of a woman at Woodfield Park in Aliso Viego on April 2, 2020. (Orange County Sheriff's Department)
Detectives are seeking this man in connection with the kidnapping and assault of a woman at Woodfield Park in Aliso Viego on April 2, 2020. (Orange County Sheriff’s Department)

A 30-year-old woman was using a trail at the park when “a man grabbed her from behind and forced her into the bushes off the hiking trail, just east of the baseball fields,” the sheriff’s department said in a written statement. “The victim fought back and screamed for help, and the suspect fled the area.”

Detectives described the attacker as a man in his mid-30s, with dark eyes, little or no hair and a muscular build. He was wearing a black shirt, black shorts and tennis shoes.

And he’s believed to be responsible for another similar attack at the same park on Jan. 20, officials said.

“A 22-year-old woman reported that while she was skateboarding at Woodfield Park, an unknown man attempted to talk to her, then unexpectedly grabbed the victim, who fought and screamed during the incident,” according to the sheriff’s department statement.

Detectives are seeking this man in connection with the kidnapping and assault of a woman at Woodfield Park in Aliso Viego on Jan. 20, 2020. (Orange County Sheriff's Department)
Detectives are seeking this man in connection with the kidnapping and assault of a woman at Woodfield Park in Aliso Viego on Jan. 20, 2020. (Orange County Sheriff’s Department)

Despite an extensive investigation, the man responsible for the January incident was not found, officials said.

“Investigators believe the suspect in both incidents may be the same individual,” the statement said.

Officials obtained surveillance video capturing a person of interest near the scene of Thursday’s attack and have released the footage, along with sketches of the suspects.

If you have information or may be able to identify the suspect, contact the Special Victims Detail at 714-6477419. Anonymous information may be provided through Orange County Crime Stoppers at 1-855-847-6227.

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