Crime & Justice

Home-invasion/sexual assault suspect arrested by LAPD

The suspect was initially seen in video of two assaults of women in their apartments on Aug. 1, 2016.
The suspect was initially seen in video of two assaults of women in their apartments on Aug. 1, 2016.
The suspect was initially seen in video of two assaults of women in their apartments on Aug. 1, 2016.
The suspect in at least eight home-invasion/sexual assault incidents.
Los Angeles Police Department

A suspect in several home invasions and attempted rapes/attacks beginning on Aug. 1 has been arrested, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

It turned out that the suspect, Russell Harris, 34, had already been taken into custody in Pasadena by Pasadena police on Aug. 9 for similar crimes, LAPD Lt. Joe Losorelli said at a Thursday press conference, going door to door looking for unlocked homes. Harris was caught after breaking his leg while running and jumping over fences in his attempt to evade police. He was being held at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility.

LAPD didn't connect Harris with his crimes from their jurisdiction until L.A. City Councilman Mitch O'Farrell and L.A. County Supervisor Hilda Solis helped to put together $35,000 in reward money  for information leading to this arrest on Tuesday.

Harris allegedly committed crimes in the Echo Park, downtown L.A., East Hollywood and Silver Lake/Sunset areas, according to a release from the LAPD. Harris has been charged with one count of assault to commit rape in the commission of a burglary, six counts of first-degree burglary and one count of second-degree burglary.

Harris was caught on surveillance video in at least eight instances since the first on Aug. 1, according to a previous release from L.A. City Councilman Mitch O'Farrell's office, citing the LAPD. Harris allegedly attempted sexual acts on at least two victims.

A woman in Antelope Valley recognized Harris from media coverage, Losorelli said. She contacted the LAPD Tuesday.

Victims who were re-interviewed Wednesday were able to positively identify Harris based on information the woman provided.

"There are probably no better words to us than 'in custody,' and we feel very very grateful and relieve that this suspect is in custody," LAPD Deputy Chief Robert Arcos said.

Even though the man was already in custody, the Antelope Valley woman who provided the tip is eligible for the $35,000 in reward money.

"You've got to look at it positively too, because what other harm would this individual have done" had he been released before he was identified in other attacks, Solis said at the Thursday press conference. "It is a bit awkward."

Harris, who was identified by the L.A. District Attorney's Office as from Santa Clarita, could face life in prison if convicted, according to the L.A. District Attorney's Office.

Losorelli said at the press conference that they had no residence for him and weren't sure where he had been living. Harris had also been bouncing back and forth between New York, New Jersey and California since 2009 and had what was described as an extensive record, Losorelli said. He is also still wanted in New York.

Arcos thanked the media for their assistance in apprehending the suspect.

"We could not have done this without your support, and without your reach. We cannot replicate the reach that you have, putting this information and this messaging out," Arcos said at a Thursday press conference.

Harris's wore blue high-top sneakers and a green T-shirt with an image of the Virgin Mary during each attempt, according to the LAPD. He had also been known to carry a knife on him.

See video below from two of the attempts:

Home invasion suspect video

This story has been updated.