Police say a 22-year-old California man wearing a clown mask sexually assaulted a woman before robbing another woman, and investigators believe there may be more victims.
Joel Alfredo Hernandez was arrested Tuesday in the Southern California desert city of Victorville after a woman called 911 at 5:14 p.m. and said she was robbed by a Hispanic man wearing a clown mask and a red sweatshirt, according to a police press release.
Sheriff’s deputies responded to the Arrowhead Credit Union parking lot, where the woman said she was attacked near an ATM, and spotted a man walking who matched the robber’s description. They arrested Hernandez as a suspect and “recovered evidence from the robbery inside Hernandez’s backpack, along with $500 in cash stolen from the victim.”
Deputies then learned of another woman who’d called 911 to say she was sexually assaulted in a supermarket parking lot. Her description of her assailant matched the description given by the other woman: “an unknown Hispanic male adult who wore a white clown mask and red sweatshirt,” the press release said. The attack also occurred shortly before the robbery, police said, and the El Super Market parking lot near the credit union parking lot.
“Deputies contacted the victim of the sexual battery and obtained a detailed statement,” police said. “During the interview, Victim 2 positively identified Hernandez as the suspect who sexual assaulted her.”
Police released a photo of cash, a purple ski mask and Joker-style clown mask, as well as a photo taken of Hernandez when he was booked into the San Bernardino County’s West Valley Detention Center in Victorville.”
Jail booking photos in California generally aren’t public, but police said they were releasing Hernandez’s photo because “there may be additional victims that have not come forward.” He from Hesperia, about eight miles south of Victorville.
Police ask anyone with information to call the Victorville Police Department at 760-241-2911 or the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department at 760-956-5001. “Callers wishing to remain anonymous are urged to call the We-Tip Hotline at 1-800-78CRIME (27463) or you may leave information on the We-Tip website at www.wetip.com,” according to the release.
Hernandez remains in jail on $200,000 bail for robbery and sexual battery charges.
[Image: Victorville Police Department]
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