Sexual Assaults Occurred in City Park

February 1, 2007

Los Angeles: Los Angeles detectives have linked a 19-year-old man to at least two violent sexual assaults, both committed in the Ernest E. Debs Regional Park in Los Angeles. Detectives believe the man may be responsible for other similar incidents and have released his picture to gather additional information.

Detectives arrested Hugo Gutierrez on January 11, 2007, after three victims in the two incidents picked his picture out of a photo line up. He was charged with kidnapping and sexual assault. He remains in custody on $3-million bail.

"Our detectives are asking anyone with prior, similar contact with Gutierrez to call the Hollenbeck Police Station," said Lieutenant Paul Vernon. "We want to link this man to any other crimes he might have committed. Our hope is that we catch him early in his crime spree."

Gutierrez is suspected in assaults on women in Debs Park on December 18, 2006, and January 9, 2007. In both instances, he approached women taking noon-time jogs through the park. In December, he confronted a 24-year-old jogger at gunpoint with the intent of robbing her. He forced her into a secluded area and sexually assaulted her. He threatened her life as he left her lying on the ground.

In January he confronted two women, a 29-year-old and her 24-year-old companion and forced them into a secluded area at gunpoint. One of the women pretended to be ill and begged Gutierrez to allow her to get her medicine from her car. Gutierrez allowed her to leave, holding the other woman as a hostage. After a short time, he thought better of his situation and left.

Anyone with information is asked to call Hollenbeck Detective Joseph Linares or Detective Beatriz Cid at 323-526-3129 or 323-526-3001. On weekends and during off-hours, call the 24-hour toll free number at 1-877-LAWFULL (1-877-529-3855). Callers may remain anonymous.