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Suspected serial rapist arrested

6/18/2012, 5 p.m.

Police have arrested a man suspected of sexually assaulting a woman in an area of South Los Angeles where a possible serial rapist had already struck at least three times since Friday morning, authorities said.

An officer saw an injured, unconscious woman on a bus bench at Manchester and Normandie avenues just before 12:55 a.m. and her suspected assailant fleeing, said Officer Roger Aguirre of the Los Angeles Police Department's 77th Street Station. A perimeter was quickly set up in the area and a police dog located the suspect about 2 a.m., he said.

The woman's head and face were bloodied from head trauma, her shirt was pulled up and her pants were pulled down, indicating a sexual assault had taken place or might have been aborted by the officer's arrival, he said. She was transported to California Hospital, Aguirre said.

Police will try to determine if the suspect is linked to the previous three sexual assaults in the area.

Two women were attacked Friday morning in the area of Western and Manchester avenues by a man with a fake gun, said Aguirre. "One woman fought back and grabbed the gun," he said. "She realized it was fake and hit him in the head with it."

A 72-year-old woman was raped in her home in the same area Friday night when a man matching the description of the earlier rape suspect persuaded her to open her door to give him a glass of water, and he pushed his way inside, Aguirre said.