A homeless man has been arrested on suspicion of raping a 14-year-old girl at knifepoint in Bell Gardens, officials said.
Police were able to make the arrest following a tip from a citizen who observed the accused, identified as Robert Nunez, at a homeless camp site near the Long Beach 710 Freeway. Nunez was arrested Monday morning after police officers arrived at the encampment.
According to investigators, it was critical to remove Nunez from the streets.
“It’s extremely important to get him off the streets. We don’t know what his capabilities are. We know what he’s being accused of and we know having him off the streets is important to everybody,” Sgt. Brett Benson of Bell Gardens stated.
The massive search began Wednesday after the alleged kidnapping and rape victim revealed the terrible incident to police.
The teen stated that two men coerced her into a garage and then tied her up before sexually assaulted her at knifepoint.
Jaomir Perez, 41, was identified as the second suspect.
According to sheriff’s inmate records, Perez was apprehended and booked into the Inmate Reception Center on a $50,000 bond.
“This is something she’ll never recover from. We are doing our best as an agency, as a community to try to help her as best we can. We just want the best for her and her family moving forward,” Sgt. Benson added.
Nunez’s description included a distinctive tattoo on his left cheek, which was concealed by a band-aid during his arrest.
“Clearly it seemed like he knew he was being sought after and was doing whatever he could to conceal his identity,” Benson said.