Sacto 9-1-1
May 20, 2010
Suspect in Woodland sexual assault arrested

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

A man has been arrested in a weekend sexual attack after accounts of the crime prompted a citizen to note apparent similarities between the suspect and a Woodland resident.

A woman managed to escape a would-be rapist after being forced into a car at gunpoint on a main Woodland street at around 10:30 a.m. Saturday.

woodlandcomposite.jpgIn an attempt to come up with leads, the Woodland Police Department distributed a press release, conducted interviews with reporters and made public a composite sketch (left) of a suspect.

That all paid off, they said. On Wednesday a citizen who saw the information disseminated by police, particularly the composite drawing and the description of the suspect vehicle, called police with a tip.

Detectives conducted follow-up investigation and identified Horacio Lopez, 29, as a suspect. The victim was driven to Lopez' residence and positively identified him as her attacker, police said.

Lopez was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping with intent to commit rape on Wednesday.

Police provided this account of the Saturday attack:

The woman was walking south on West Street near Buckeye Street when a newer, black sport-utility vehicle approached and the driver asked for directions. When the woman stopped to talk to the driver through the passenger window, he pulled a handgun and ordered her into the SUV.

She got in and the man drove to rural Yolo County, ordering her to undress on the way. After several minutes he pulled into a grove of trees near Interstate 5 and County Road 98.

As the man got out and walked around to the passenger side, the woman attempted to call for help on her cell phone.

He opened the door and tried to pull the woman's pants off while she struggled. The victim managed to break free and ran to I-5 where she waved down a passer-by who took her to safety and called police.

The suspect fled north on County Road 18 in his black SUV.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

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