Transient charged in string of South L.A. sexual assaults
A man arrested on suspicion of committing a string of rapes in South Los Angeles, including an attack that left a woman with severe injuries, was charged Wednesday with several felony counts, including attempted murder.
Allen Phillip Crews, 22, also faces charges including assault with intent to commit a felony, sexual penetration by a foreign object and assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury.
Crews, a transient, faces up to life in prison if convicted on all counts. He is expected to be arraigned Wednesday afternoon when prosecutors will ask that bail be set at $1.56 million.
According to authorities, a sergeant with the Los Angeles Police Department witnessed an attack on a woman in her 30s near a cluster of bus benches near the intersection of Normandie and Manchester avenues shortly before 1 a.m. Monday.
After setting up a perimeter, they arrested a suspect later identified as Crews, who they said was believed to be involved in a series of attacks that began last week.
The first two attacks occurred near the intersection of Western and Manchester avenues Friday at 2 a.m., according to sources familiar with the case. In the first attack, the suspect tried to rape a female transient but was foiled by a passerby. She was recovering from her injuries.
A short time later, he wielded a fake handgun and tried to assault a second woman, the sources said. The woman, who lost several teeth in the struggle, wrested the weapon away from the suspect and tried to fire it at him. When she realized it wasn't real, she hit him with it.
The suspect is also believed to have raped a 78-year-old woman about 9 that evening in an apartment nearby.
Police said they are seeking other possible victims in the case.
-- Andrew Blankstein (Twitter.com/anblanx)
Photo: Suspect arrested in South L.A. attacks. Credit: KTLA-TV, Channel 5