WEST HOLLYWOOD (CBSLA) – A transient from New York has been arrested on suspicion of attacking two women in quick succession near the border of Los Angeles and West Hollywood, police said Friday.
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Gabriel Hodges, 27, was arrested two days after the Feb. 15 attacks that occurred in quick succession. LAPD officials say the quick arrest was thanks to vigilant neighbors and an observant librarian.
“Thank goodness this is a tightknight [sic] community who looks out for its neighbors, ”Deputy Chief Blake Chow, commanding officer of LAPD’s Operations-West Bureau, said in a statement. “They were our eyes and ears on every block and they did not rest until we had what we needed to catch a very dangerous man.”
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The first attack was on a woman on a sidewalk in the 800 block of Vista Street in Los Angeles, and the second attack involved a man pushing a woman into her apartment in the 7600 block of Hampton Avenue in West Hollywood, less than a mile away .
The LAPD credited local homeowners’ “excellent security systems and cameras” for helping them get video of the first assault and images of the suspect “creeping through the neighborhood.” Investigators determined the same suspect was behind both assaults and was last seen heading for downtown Los Angeles, according to the LAPD.
After footage of the suspect was released by a neighborhood watch group, a librarian at the Los Angeles Public Library’s Central Library spotted him and alerted security, who called police. The man was identified as the man in the videos and arrested on suspicion of aggravated kidnapping, LAPD officials said.
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Charges of aggravated kidnapping, residential burglary with intent to commit sexual assault, and assault with intent to commit rape were filed Tuesday against Hodges, who is being held on $ 2.1 million bail. He is scheduled to make his next court appearance on March 10.