A man was arrested after allegedly sexually assaulting one woman and robbing another in Victorville while wearing a clown mask, officials said Wednesday.
One incident occurred Tuesday in a parking lot near an ATM machine.
The victim told dispatchers she was robbed by a man who wore a white clown mask and a red sweatshirt, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.
Deputies spotted a man matching the description of the suspect as they responded to the scene.
Deputies then detained the suspect, identified as 22-year-old Joel Hernandez.
They recovered evidence from the robbery inside Hernandez’s backpack, along with $500 in cash that was stolen from the victim, officials said.
“He had a backpack he was carrying. In that backpack, they located the money that was taken from the victim, as well as some other items that helped ID him as the suspect,” said Mara Rodriguez, spokesperson for the Sheriff’s Department. “They also recovered that plastic clown mask and another ski mask that he was apparently wearing at the time.”
Investigators later learned that Hernandez had allegedly groped another victim minutes before the robbery.
In that incident, the victim reported she was sexually assaulted and groped in the parking lot of El Super market by a man in a white clown mask and red sweatshirt.
Deputies contacted that victim and got a detailed statement, and the victim positively identified Hernandez as the man who assaulted her.
“I know that he did approach her from behind while she was at her car, and he basically grabbed her and held her for just a matter of seconds,” Rodriguez said.
Both victims were in their 50s.
Hernandez was eventually arrested on suspicion of robbery and sexual assault. He is being held on $200,000 bail.
Investigators believe Hernandez may have attacked other women. Anyone with information about another crime involving Hernandez is asked to call the Victorville Police Department at 760-241-2911 or Sheriff’s Department’s dispatch at 760-956-5001.