By Mary O’KEEFE
Detectives from Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station arrested Armando Garcia, 51, from San Fernando about 8 a.m. Saturday morning for sexual assault and attempted murder.
The suspect was a arrested a day after he allegedly beat and raped his 51-year-old victim and then abandoned her in Lopez Canyon. Garica knew the victim.
According to Sgt. Ray Harley, Garcia picked the victim up at a bus stop in Van Nuys about 7:30 a.m. on Friday morning. He was to take her to her work in San Fernando Valley.
“He was angry at her for some [personal reason],” Harley said. “He began punching her on the head until she was unconscious.”
Each time the victim would regain consciousness Garcia reportedly would hit her again. This happened four to five times.
“At some point he drove up Lopez Canyon,” Harley said.
Garcia stopped at Mile Marker 1.91 in Lopez Canyon about two miles north of Paxton Street.
“He took her out of his car and into an area about 50 feet off the roadway where he sexually assaulted her,” Harley said.
After the assault he allegedly beat the victim again. She pretended to be dead in hope it would make Garcia leave. He left and she was able to make her way out of the heavy brush he had dragged her to. A U.S. Forest Service employee found her about 10 a.m. that morning and called for help. She was transported to a nearby hospital where she underwent surgery.
Detectives were not able to interview the victim until Saturday morning.
“The family had heard about the [attack] and knew where Garcia was living,” Harley added. “They were nervous the suspect may flee his home perhaps to Mexico.”
The family members contacted San Fernando police who detained the suspect until sheriff detectives arrived.
Anyone with information concerning the incident is asked to contact detectives at CV Sheriff’s Station at (818) 248-9491.