A California man arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting an Asian woman is suspected of two other attacks and could be linked to more, the Fremont Police Department posted on its Facebook page late Friday night.
Alexander Lomax, who police described as a 28-year-old man from Hayward, was arrested Thursday, Fremont police said.
Police said he severely beat and assaulted a 67-year-old Asian woman in broad daylight around 11 a.m. on Thursday in the front yard of a residence near Grimmer Blvd. and Blacow Rd. in the Bay Area, according to a Friday press release.
Witnesses of the alleged assault called police and officers who arrived to the scene said they found Lomax "completely nude and still sexually assaulting the victim," authorities said.
The woman was taken to a trauma center with major, non-life-threatening injures. She suffered significant facial injuries and broken bones throughout her body, police said.
Lomax, who is homeless, was arrested and booked into Santa Rita Jail. He was charged with rape, kidnapping with the intent to commit sodomy, assault with the intent to commit rape, sexual battery by restraint, assault with a deadly weapon with great bodily injury and elder abuse with injuries charges, all related to the 67-year-old victim.
Detectives said they later connected him to two other assaults -- one committed several hours before the Thursday attack targeting a 57-year-old Asian woman and another at a Safeway supermarket on May 5 targeting a 75-year-old white woman, Fremont police told ABC News.
Lomax was charged with assault with intent to commit rape related to the 57-year-old victim and sexual battery by restraint and false imprisonment related to the 75-year-old victim. The assault with intent to commit sodomy charge is no bail, meaning he'll be held until arraignment scheduled for May 17. An attorney for Lomax could not be immediately identified.
On Thursday at 9:47 a.m. police said Lomax assaulted a 57-year-old woman in the area of Auto Mall Pkwy and Fremont Blvd. He allegedly punched the woman in the back of the head, pushed her to the ground, then got on top of her, even as she fought back and bit him on the arm, police said.
A witness broke up the assault and Lomax fled before police could arrive on the scene, authorities said. The victim later positively identified Lomax as her attacker, police said.
The victim screamed and he fled the store before police arrived. That victim also later positively identified Lomax, police said.
Fremont Police Chief Kimberly Petersen condemned the attacks, vowing to investigate whether Lomax had more alleged victims.
"As a police chief and as a woman, I am completely horrified by this crime. My thoughts are with the victims during this incredibly difficult time. I can assure the public that this case is the Department's highest priority and we are working diligently with the District Attorney to keep this offender in custody. I have also dedicated the necessary resources to investigate whether we have more victims in our community, and we will ensure that all will be provided with victim support services," Petersen said.
Fremont Mayor Lily Mei also denounced the "disturbing" attacks.
"I am deeply disturbed by the three sexual assault incidents that have recently occurred in our community. My heart is full of sadness for the victims. On behalf of the entire Fremont community, you are all in our thoughts and while we know your recovery will be long, we will continue to be by your side," Mei said in a statement.
Police are urging other potential victims to come forward. Additional victims or witnesses are encouraged to contact Detective David Rodriguez at 510-790-6900 or email@example.com.
Lomax has not been charged with any hate crimes in the incidents.
The alleged attacks took place amid a spike of attacks against Asian Americans over the past year.
Stop AAPI Hate, a group that tracks bias incidents against Asians, reported more than 6,600 hate incidents from the start of the COVID-19 pandemic through March 31.