Police have arrested a man in connection with a sexual assault that happened last week, in broad daylight, along a walking trail at San Diego’s famous Balboa Park.
According to the San Diego Police Department, Ameen Ali Bryant, 21, was arrested Wednesday for his suspected involvement in the sexual assault case. SDPD Sex Crimes Lt. Chuck Kaye told NBC 7 that Bryant may also be linked to other similar past cases that happened at Balboa Park.
Bryant was booked into San Diego Central Jail on one count of assault with the intent to commit rape. He’s scheduled to appear in court Friday.
On Jan. 14, at around 1:15 p.m., Bryant allegedly attacked a woman as she walked along the Bridle Trail on the western side of Balboa Park, just south of the Cabrillo Bridge.
The victim told police that the suspect ran up to her from behind, grabbed her, forced her to the ground and then jumped on top of her.
Sex crimes detectives said the woman was able to fight off the assailant.
During the tussle, a couple coincidentally walked onto the trail, which police believe scared off the attacker. Upon seeing the passersby, the suspect fled the scene. He was last seen running north toward the Cabrillo Bridge.
The witnesses that walked onto the trail just at the right time helped the victim and flagged down an officer near the park to report the sexual assault.
Officers canvassed Balboa Park immediately following the assault and stayed there into the night, asking visitors at the entrance and exit if they had seen the suspect or had any information regarding the assault.
Authorities also released a detailed description of the suspect. On Jan. 21, the SDPD released a composite sketch of the suspect in hopes of tracking down fresh leads.
Sex crimes detectives wound up contacting Bryant in connection to the case and interviewed him at police headquarters. After that, he was taken into custody.
Police said the investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information should contact the SDPD Sex Crimes Unit at (619) 531-2210 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.
Last week, Lt. Kaye told NBC 7 that the last such assault in Balboa Park was also on the Bridle Trail in 2008. He said crimes of this type are rare.