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Man arrested for 2 sexual assaults in 20 minutes

2:51 PM, Dec 30, 2012   |    comments
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"Pretty unusual to commit such violent crimes so quickly after each other," said Sgt. Randy McNitt, with the Lakewood Police Department.

The first woman was able to fight the attacker off before he fled the scene in a blue minivan, according to McNitt. Then, a man with a similar description, also in a blue minivan, sexually assaulted the second woman near Kipling Parkway and Jewell Avenue. She was able to pepper spray the attacker and escape.

"Both of them resisted him and drove him away and we're thankful they weren't hurt worse," said McNitt.

Police arrested Garcia Friday night for the two attacks. He lives in an apartment in Lakewood where neighbors say he was actually pretty friendly.

"He's pretty quiet. He's a quiet guy. He stays to himself," said E.J. Maestas, a neighbor who lives across the street from Garcia. "Yeah, I didn't ever think he would ever do this."

But, Garcia has a pretty extensive criminal record with numerous charges ranging from felony assault to kidnapping to theft to misdemeanor sex crimes.

"It's a good thing he got caught," said Dianne Zimmerman, a worker at Chicago Style Beef and Dog located just down the street from the Colfax attack. "That was just plain scary and I'm thrilled for those of us along Colfax that he did get picked up."

McNitt says investigators are looking to see if Garcia is responsible for a third sexual assault. On December 10th, a man bumped his car into the car of a woman. When she got out, that man sexually assaulted her in the 9000 block of Dartmouth Avenue. McNitt says Garcia is a suspect in that attack, as well.

"Were very happy to have him off the streets," said McNitt.

If you know anything about Garcia or about the attacks, investigators want you to contact Lakewood Police.

Zimmerman says people along Colfax can rest a little easier now.

"So, it really helps," said Zimmerman. "One less piece of trash on our street."

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