The search for a registered sex offender and parolee suspected of sexually assaulting two Vista neighbors Monday ended Tuesday afternoon at an Oceanside motel with the suspect's arrest.
Jeremy Stutzman, 33, appeared "very startled" when authorities met and arrested him at a Motel 6 stairwell about 3:25 p.m. at 909 North Coast Hwy, said San Diego County sheriff Sgt. Russ Moore.
"We set up on the elevator of the stairwell, and he came up the stairwell, right into the arms of our fugitive task force," said sheriffs Sgt. Russ Moore. "...I think the last people he expected to see was five or six U.S. Marshals and deputy sheriffs standing there, waiting for him."
Stutzman had caught off his GPS bracelet and left it at his Vista apartment Tuesday morning, said a deputy with the fugitive task force.
Stutzman lives directly below his alleged victims in a complex on the 2100 block of Santa Fe Avenue, deputies confirmed.
A woman called 911 at 11:13 p.m. Monday reporting she and her 19-year-old roommate had been tied up and sexually assaulted in their apartment.
Stutzman allegedly kidnapped one of the victims at knifepoint and stole the other victim's car.
Before his capture, Stutzman had been spotted driving a 2005 gray Toyota Corolla. Deputies located the vehicle at the Motel 6 where Stutzman had rented a room with his fiancée.
Amy Berling wanted to talk to NBCSanDiego about Stutzman who she described as a former Marine who was seriously injured in a fall that ended his military career.
"He is a hard worker,” Berling said. “He is an honest man."
Deputies describe Stutzman as a man with a long criminal history that includes assault with a deadly weapon, false imprisonment and sexual battery.
He is a registered sex offender in the state's Megan's Law database.
According to the Mill Creek apartment complex, Stutzman moved into the residence last December. A manager said they were unaware Stutzman was listed on the Megan's Law website, but also said they do a criminal background check on every resident before they are allowed to move in.
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