The grandparents and friend of the man accused in a series of North Park attacks say police have the wrong man.
Family friend Everett Thompson expressed complete shock and disbelief when he heard David Angelo Drake, 23, was arrested.
"It's not him. It can't be him. That's what I thought when I seen it this morning," Thompson told NBC 7 on Wednesday.
San Diego Police say Drake is connected to the six attacks that started in June, spanning along Lincoln Avenue, Idaho Street, Meade Avenue and 33rd Street. The assaults kept the community on edge all summer.
But Thompson, who has known Drake since he was a toddler, said his friend could not be responsible, describing him as a quiet, innocent man who always kept a job.
The suspect – a graduate of Lincoln High School – was working at Brazen BBQ in Hillcrest when he was taken into police custody.
"He's a good guy. He's a good little kid. For him, some kind of crime like that is unbelievable. They got the wrong person,” said Thompson. In a phone conversation with NBC 7, Drake’s grandparents agreed.
Drake is expected to be arraigned on multiple charges Thursday, including six counts of assault with a deadly weapon, six counts of assault with the intent to commit sexual assault, five counts of battery and two counts of sexual assault with a foreign object.
Prosecutors have set his bail at $855,000. The suspect has declined NBC 7’s request for comment.
The string of assaults in North Park began on June 11 and ended on Aug. 28. Each was characterized by a lone woman being attacked from behind by one or two suspects. Many of the victims were knocked unconscious, and all but one suffered injuries to their faces.