Police link theft, vandalism clues to rape suspect

first_imgSAN FERNANDO – Richard Ruelas allegedly almost got away with rape, but police said his fondness for graffiti and ladies’ fashion magazines landed him in jail. San Fernando police arrested the 22-year-old Sunday evening after a bizarre string of weekend crimes. He confessed to all the charges within an hour, police said. “His past history has been nonviolent – drunk driving on a bicycle, vandalism, some marijuana when he was younger,” Detective Anthony Vairo said. “Unfortunately, he graduated to the big leagues in a big way.” Around 4:45 a.m. Saturday, police received a call from a man who’d been talking to a friend who was on her way home from a party. She suddenly screamed and the line went dead. The caller, then the police dispatcher, tried reaching the woman, to no avail. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPettersson scores another winner, Canucks beat KingsAfter police tracked her down at home several hours later, she reported a man had attacked her near Celis Street and San Fernando Road. He dragged her into some bushes and raped her, she told police. Major crimes rarely occur in this 2.4-square-mile town, and rape is one of the least common. SFPD has logged just two this year. As officers investigated the scene, they discovered copies of Cosmo Girl and other magazines scattered not far away. At the same time, dispatchers received a call of a burglary at a newsstand at 1240 Truman St., where the owner reported vandalism and the theft of several women’s glossies. At the bank next to the newsstand, someone had etched the name “Nobek” onto a bank window – a moniker used by Ruelas in a previous tagging arrest, police said. Officers recalled the name, pulled his mug shot and presented it to the victim. She identified him as the rapist, and detectives scrambled to get a warrant. Officers swarmed Ruelas’ home at 6 p.m. Sunday. “As officers were making their way in the front door, he was trying to make his way out the back,” said Sgt. Nichole Hanchett, who linked Ruelas to the earlier vandalism arrest. “My lieutenant stopped him at gunpoint, I hopped a couple fences and put the handcuffs on him. Walking him down the street to the car was quite gratifying.” Within an hour, Vairo and Detective Al Martinez were grilling Ruelas, who eventually broke down in tears. Vairo said he admitted everything. He faces charges of rape, assault, kidnapping, burglary and vandalism. “For sexual assault victims, the trauma keeps playing out far from the scene,” Hanchett said. “If the suspect’s not arrested, they’re going to wonder for the rest of their lives, `Is that him? Is that him?’ Now, she knows he’s going to get punished.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *