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Suspect in civic center attacks arrested on battery warrant

Civic center attacksLos Angeles police detectives arrested a man at Main and Temple streets Friday who was wanted for questioning in a spree of assaults at the Los Angeles civic center.

Jermaine Vincent Moran was taken into custody shortly after 7 a.m. on an outstanding warrant for battery, said LAPD Lt. Paul Vernon.

"It didn't take long to find Mr. Moran, and he was within a block of where all of the previous attacks occurred," Vernon said. The investigation into the attacks is ongoing, he added.

Detectives Thursday morning released a photo of Moran as a man General Services Department officers had noticed walking in the Mall around 7:40 a.m. Thursday.

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,” Vernon said 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 pushed, punched or slapped his victims without warning as they walked on the sidewalks or through crosswalks in the civic center. He said detectives were preparing their investigation for review by the city attorney for multiple misdemeanor charges.

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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