SDPD: Navy Commander accused of assault with intent to rape - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

SDPD: Navy Commander accused of assault with intent to rape

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The commander of a Guam-based naval helicopter squadron bailed out of San Diego Central Jail Tuesday following his arrest on suspicion of trying to rape a Navy colleague at her Valencia Park home.

Patrol officers responding to a report of an assault in progress about 3 a.m. Monday arrived to find a man running away from the alleged victim's home and into a nearby canyon, according to San Diego police.

Following a brief foot chase, officers arrested 39-year-old John Michael Neuhart, SDPD Lt. Paul Phillips said.

Neuhart, head of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25, was booked on suspicion of attempted rape and assault with intent to commit rape. He was released on bail early this morning and is scheduled to arraigned Monday.

The neighbor who reported the alleged assault told investigators he'd hurried over to the woman's home after hearing screams and asked her through a window if she was all right, Phillips told reporters.

When she shouted "no," the man made a 911 call and yelled into the home that he was doing so, according to the lieutenant. "When they got to the residence, the suspect entered the house with the victim," the lieutenant said. "The suspect immediately became forceful with her and attempted to sexually assault her. She was able to fight him off and ... began screaming very loudly."

Neuhart, an Iraq War veteran who trained with a Coronado-based helicopter antisubmarine squadron in 2002, was in San Diego for a conference at the time of the alleged crime, according to the Navy Times.

Authorities did not release the woman's name or military rank.

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