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News Release

Friday, December 14, 2012

Media Relations

Sketch Released: Ear Gauge Stalker

Los Angeles:  Detectives released a forensic sketch of the Ear Gauge Stalker who assaulted two women December 9, 2012, at a Sylmar apartment complex.

“The suspect’s bold behavior speaks to someone who is impulsive and probably compulsive,” said Lt. Paul Vernon, head of the Mission Detective Division.  “I would expect he’s been arrested, if not convicted, for similar behavior.”

The suspect is Black and in his mid-twenties.  Both women described him as wearing large gauges in both earlobes, making for a distinct appearance.  He had a medium build, 5’8” tall, 160 pounds, either wearing a hoodie or a baseball cap.

In the first case, the Ear Gauge Stalker approached a woman in her 30s who was pushing a baby in a stroller around 2:40 AM.  He started with small talk, then reached under her dress and groped her.  When she screamed, he ran away.  About an hour later, the same man approached another woman, also walking back to her apartment, and engaged her in small talk.  He grabbed her and dragged her into a secluded area, trying to disrobe her, before two passersby confronted him and scared him off.

Detectives have canvased the apartment complex since the incident, warning residents.  They have distributed crime alerts to nearby Sylmar High School and LA Mission College.

The suspect has not hit again since Sunday, and police have no information that puts the schools at risk.   Detectives distributed flyers at the schools to alert a wider population of people who might recognize the suspect.

Police have received several tips on possible suspects, but stress now that tipsters pay attention to other features of the suspect, like his age, thin face, and race, before attributing suspicion to anyone wearing ear gauges.  “We have to run down every tip eventually because once we have an arrest, the defendant will try to claim that any ignored tip biased him,” Lt. Vernon explained.  “Wild tips can cost investigations many hours of work.”

Anyone with information on this crime is urged to call Det. Luz Montero, Mission Area Sexual Assault Unit, at 818-838-9975. Anonymous tips can be called into Crimestoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477), or by texting 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone. All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.” Online tips may be placed at www.LAPDOnline.org, click on “webtips” and follow the prompts.

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