SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio police on Thursday arrested Anton Harris, 18, after positive DNA tests linked him to five sexual assaults and one attempted sexual assault all within in the Medical Center area, they said.
With him now facing multiple charges of aggravated assaults -- with the first case dating far back as March 2015, San Antonio police said -- here’s what you need to know about Harris.
1) Harris was arrested at North Star Mall
SAPD Chief William McManus said investigators had been following Harris throughout the day of June 8 and arrested him shortly after he exited North Star Mall that afternoon. McManus said he does not believe there are other suspects and believes the department has the right suspect in custody.
2) Harris graduated from high school on Tuesday
Northside Independent School District spokesman Barry Perez confirmed Harris was a student at Marshall High School and a class of 2017 graduate. The school, on the 8000 block of Lobo Lane near Huebner Road, is just 3 miles from where Harris allegedly preyed on women in the Medical Center area, police said. Perez said Harris was also a member of the school’s varsity basketball team.
3) Police say Harris targeted women in Medical Center-area apartment complexes
In his arrest affidavit, the attacker is described as being a man in his 20s who was wearing a hoodie, and a bandana and holding either a knife or a gun in early reports. McManus said Harris targeted women in their 20s at apartment complexes and waited for his victims at their most vulnerable state.
“He would spot his potential target (and) sometimes pretend like he was jogging through the complex,” McManus said. “When he spotted someone he was interested in, he would follow them and once they got to their apartment door, he would either follow right in after them or knock on the door hoping they would open it.”
4) Police say Harris was only 16 when the first sexual assault case was reported
According to the affidavit, a 28-year-old woman reported to law enforcement that a male groped her while she was returning to her apartment in the 5600 block of Babcock on March 19, 2015. The area is said to be have been the primary area where Harris targeted his victims, linking to other cases that were reported by other women. McManus confirmed Harris is the man running through an apartment parking lot in the surveillance video that was released earlier this year by the department.
5) The SAPD says it was able to link Harris to other cases by using a straw
On the last day of school, SAPD contacted Marshall High School’s on-campus police, advising them that Harris was a potential suspect in a number of sexual assault cases, according to the arrest affidavit. One of the school’s officers recognized Harris at a cafeteria table as he was “consuming a liquid drink through a straw.” Harris left the drink on the table and police were able to collect the straw as evidence. McManus said the woman who was the victim in the attempted sexual assault was able to fight back, leaving evidence of Harris’ DNA under her fingernails. McManus also said the department was getting ready deploy another tactic.
“We were actually getting ready to deploy another plan to try and catch this individual, a little bit more dangerous than any of the other plans we had, but fortunately we didn’t have to do that.”
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