SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio police have arrested a man they say is responsible for a series of sexual assaults in the Medical Center.
“I’m very pleased and relieved to announce that we made an arrest of a serial predator, sexual predator, who was working up in the Medical Center area,” McManus said.
The suspect has been identified as Anton Harris, 18, who is a recent high school graduate.
The first case the San Antonio Police Department linked to the suspect happened in June 2015. Since that time, the department linked him with six cases through positive DNA tests.
Harris was arrested after exiting North Star Mall. McManus said investigators had been following the suspect throughout the day and were able to take him into custody Thursday afternoon.
As of Thursday night, Harris was still being questioned by police.
McManus said all the sexual assaults happened in the Medical Center.
Though Harris is only charged with one aggravated sexual assault so far, police have tied him to at least six cases.
Out of the six cases, the chief said five were sexual assaults and the other was an attempted sexual assault. The victim of the attempted sexual assault fought back, which resulted in DNA evidence under her fingernails, McManus said.
McManus said Harris was identified as a person of interest by two patrol officers who saw that he matched the description of the suspect. They were able to obtain Harris' DNA from a drink that he had in his hand.
McManus said the assaults happened at different apartment complexes within the same area.
“That’s what made this case so difficult. The area was very wide. It was like looking for a needle in a haystack,” McManus said. “We spent countless hours since that time. Since we identified this as a serial case, we spent countless officer detective hours in that area … waiting for him to hit … to make another attempt.”
McManus said because the area was so widespread, with so many different potential targets, it was a longer process to develop probable cause in the case.
The chief and the Special Victims Unit met several times to come up with a plan to catch the suspect.
“Obviously, he was a very dangerous predator,” McManus said.
McManus said most of the victims were women in their 20s. He said Harris would usually spot his target and pretend to be jogging through an apartment complex, and then he would follow the victim to their apartment door.
“He’d either follow right in after them or he’d knock on the door, hoping they would answer it,” McManus said.
In some of the cases, Harris was armed with either a knife or a gun, McManus said.
McManus said the suspect is being cooperative. Whether he will be tried as an adult, as some of the assaults happened when Harris was a minor, will be up to the District Attorney’s Office, McManus said.
The chief said more victims could come forward. Anyone with information or anyone who is a victim of sexual assault is asked to contact police as soon as possible.
The San Antonio Police Department will provide an update on an arrest made in a series of sexual assaults in the Medical Center. Read more here: http://bit.ly/2s2j71U Livestream has ended.Posted by KSAT 12 & KSAT.com on Thursday, June 8, 2017
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