PD: Man arrested for assaulting, groping woman in parking lot
Oscar Santa Maria
PHOENIX (CBS5) -
Police arrested a man for allegedly assaulting a woman in a Circle K parking lot Saturday and who they believe may be connected to a series of assaults on women.
A police officer heard a woman screaming at a Circle K on 35th Avenue and Buckeye, according to Phoenix police. The woman told the officer a man came up to her and asked if she was a prostitute. She told him no and he grabbed her chest.
According to the police report, the woman told the officer the man punched her in the face several times and she hit him with her keys, cutting his nose. He then fled in a white Dodge Charger.
Police identified Oscar Fernando Santa Maria, 30, from security footage and the victim identified him during a line up. Further investigation showed that Santa Maria owned a white Dodge Charger.
The victim's story matched three other cases where a Hispanic man in his late 20s forced women into his car and groped them. In one case, he used a gun to force the woman into his car, police said.
Police issued a search warrant to his home and he was taken into custody. During an interview, Santa Maria said the cut on his nose came from a woman who he thought was a prostitute.
Santa Maria said he provoked the woman when he picked up her phone and she began to hit him. He said he couldn't remember hitting her but said it was possible. He also said this was the first time this happened and he never used an escort before, according to report.
When police confronted him about the other cases, he admitted to picking up women he thought were prostitutes on three different occasions. He told police he had a problem and needed counseling because he didn't know why he did this.
He didn't recognize any photos of the women, but he said what the women said was probably true. He said he may not remember the alleged assaults because of alcohol. He denied using a gun, but he was in possession of one during the arrest, police said.
Santa Maria was booked on one count of kidnapping, one count of robbery and one count of assault.
Copyright 2012 CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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