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Investigators believe same man responsible for 2 recent assaults in Goleta

Posted at 2:57 PM, Aug 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-14 17:42:44-04

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office says two women in Goleta reported being assaulted within just two days of each other, and investigators believe the assaults are related.

The first incident was reported on August 10 at 12:45 p.m. Sheriff's officials say a 22-year-old woman was jogging on a dirt path along a creek in the area of Phelps Rd. and Ocean Walk Ln. when a man grabbed her by the arm and tried to pull her closer to him. The woman reportedly punched at the man with her house keys and the man then punched her in the face. When the man let go, the woman was able to run away and call 911 from her nearby home.

The man was described as white, 40-50 years old, of average height and weight, with a dirty brown/white beard. He was wearing a black shirt and the woman said he smelled strongly of alcohol.

The second assault was reported on August 12 at 10:30 p.m. An 18-year-old woman told investigators she was sitting near her car in the Haskell's Beach parking lot waiting for friends when a man got out of another vehicle and approached her, asking her if she was okay. The woman said the man placed his hand on her back as he spoke, then reached under the front of her shirt and assaulted her. The woman reportedly kicked the man in the groin and he ran to his vehicle and drove away.

The man was described as white, 50-60 years old, of average height and weight, dark hair that covered his ears and forehead, and a white beard. He was wearing blue jeans and a dark gray hoodie sweatshirt, and the woman said he smelled like marijuana and dirt. His vehicle was described as an older model, four-door compact similar to a Chevy Volt and dark gray in color.

The sheriff's office believes the same man is responsible for both assaults and they're asking for the public's help to identify him. Anyone with information about these assaults or who sees anyone matching the above descriptions in the Goleta area to call 911.