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Man wanted in downtown L.A. civic center assaults

January 20, 2012 |  8:44 am

Civic center attacksLos Angeles detectives are searching for a man wanted in a spree of assaults on mostly women walking near the downtown Los Angeles civic center.

Detectives released a photograph taken Thursday morning in the City Hall Mall by General Services Department officers who noticed Jermaine Vincent Moran walking in the Mall around 7:40 a.m.

Moran fit the description of a man who had assaulted four people near the civic center since Jan. 3.

“Later yesterday afternoon, this man struck for the fifth time, slapping a woman in the head as she walked on the sidewalk at Main and 1st streets,” said Los Angeles Police Department Lt. Paul Vernon on Friday. “This last attack confirmed the suspect’s M.O. and the fact that these several attacks are all by the same person and related.”

Vernon said Moran allegedly pushes, punches or slaps victims unprovoked and without warning as they walk on the sidewalks or through crosswalks in the civic center.

In the initial incident, he pushed a woman from behind as she walked in the crosswalk at Main and 1st streets.

Police received the next report Jan. 10 at 8:30 a.m. when he punched a woman in the nose as she walked past him on the sidewalk at Main and 3rd streets. The next day, he struck twice, punching a businessman in the neck in the morning, then punching a woman in the stomach in the afternoon.

The last two victims are women and civilian employees of the Los Angeles Police Department, Vernon said.

“We’ve distributed Moran’s photo to all our officers and we have a number of them out looking for Moran now,” Vernon said. “Clearly, he’s active in the mornings and evenings as people are coming and going to work in the civic center.”

With the exception of the 60 days of Occupy L.A. last year, when 25 serious crimes were reported, the civic center area is generally crime free.

“The cluster of attacks since Jan. 10 showed these were not random, and probably committed by the same person,” he said.

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-- Richard Winton

Photo: Suspect Jermaine Vincent Moran. Credit: Los Angeles Police Department

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