A 30-year-old man Tempe police say is responsible for at least three attempted sexual assaults including two on Saturday, was arrested in connection to the crimes and is being held in a Maricopa County jail.
Israel Velazquez Martinez was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping, attempted sexual assault and other sexual assault-related offenses in the area of Priest Drive and La Jolla about 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, shortly after a passerby intervened to stop a struggle between him and a 16-year-old girl near the overpass at Priest and the US 60.
The girl told police that Martinez approached her from behind as she was walking, put her in a bear hug and sexually touched her before they fell to the ground and rolled down an embankment.
After the passerby saw the struggle, he stopped and intervened, but Martinez was able to run away. Police later found him in the area where the alleged assault happened.
After reviewing similar cases, police said they discovered that Martinez had sexually abused an adult earlier on Saturday at Arizona Mills mall and that he allegedly assaulted a 17-year-old girl with sexual motivation on July 14 near Southern Avenue and Priest.
Anyone with information about these offenses can call Tempe police at (480) 350-8311.