Serial-groping suspect arrested - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Serial-groping suspect arrested

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OCEANSIDE (CNS) - A 21-year-old college student was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of carrying out a series of groping assaults on girls and women in the North County.

Detective took Zachary Alcantara of Oceanside into custody as he was leaving a class at MiraCosta College about 11:30 a.m., according to police.

At the time of his arrest in connection with at least three recent sexual-battery incidents, Alcantara was out on bail in connection with a similar alleged crime.

The suspect also is considered a potential suspect in five other groping incidents, Lt. Leonard Mata said.

Seven of the crimes occurred Tuesday -- three each in Oceanside and Encinitas, and one in Carlsbad, according to Mata. The other occurred in Oceanside on Saturday.

The victims' descriptions of the perpetrator and his actions suggested one man may be responsible for all of the assaults.

"In all (the) cases, the (assailant) approached women or juvenile females walking in public and groped them," the lieutenant said.

The similar alleged sex assault for which the suspect is awaiting trial was reported in Oceanside about two months ago, according to Mata.

Alcantara was expected to be booked this afternoon on three counts of misdemeanor sexual battery, one count of committing a lewd act on a child and one count of felony false imprisonment, all in connection with the Oceanside assaults. Further charges could follow.

THIS IS A STORY UPDATE. For an earlier version, read below.

OCEANSIDE (CNS) - Authorities searched Wednesday for a young man suspected of accosting and groping girls and women in North County neighborhoods as many as eight times over the last five days.

Zachary Alcantara, 21, was out on bail in connection with a similar alleged crime at the time of the recent reported sex assaults, according to police in Oceanside, where the suspect lives.

"In all (the) cases, the (assailant) approached women or juvenile females walking in public and groped them,'' Lt. Leonard Mata said.

Seven of the crimes occurred Tuesday - three each in Oceanside and Encinitas, and one in Carlsbad, according to Mata. The victims' descriptions of the perpetrator and his actions suggested one man may be responsible for all of the assaults, the lieutenant said.

Detectives believe Alcantara also may have carried out a groping crime that occurred in Oceanside on Saturday. The similar alleged sex assault for which the suspect is awaiting trial also was reported in that city, in October.

Oceanside police were in the process of obtaining an arrest warrant for Alcantara for the two recent cases that occurred in their jurisdiction, according to Mata.

Anyone with information on Alcantara's whereabouts was asked to call (760) 435-4900.


This is a story update. A previous story is below.

 

OCEANSIDE (CNS) - Oceanside police Wednesday sought the public's help in locating a young man suspected of groping at least one female victim in a sexual manner and possibly two others over a nearly two-hour span.

Zachary Alcantara, 21, of Oceanside, is being sought in connection with three groping incidents that occurred between 5:55 and 7:45 p.m. Tuesday between the 200 block of South Horne Street and the 300 block of North Horne Street, Oceanside police Lt. Leonard Mata said in a statement.

Two of the victims were women and the third was a 14-year-old girl, according to Mata.

"The suspect description in all three cases is essentially the same," he said, noting that Alcantara has been identified as a suspect in at least one of the cases.

Alcantara is Hispanic, about 5 feet 10, with a thin build, Mata said.

Anyone with information on Alcantara's whereabouts was urged to call Oceanside police at (760) 435-4900.

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