A Long Beach woman was left in shock after she learned that the homeless man, who looked ‘demon possessed,’ unzipped his pants, grabbed her and began thrusting against her in broad daylight in a section of the city known as ‘The Beast,’ has only been charged with a misdemeanor.
Rebekah Pedersen told ABC Los Angeles in an interview that she was told that Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon’s office was not willing to charge the suspect with felony attempted rape because the attack ‘didn’t say that’s what he was going to do.’
A witness described the attacker as ‘salivating’ prior to the attempted assault.
‘I feel him right here on my neck He grabs my hips and thrusts himself into me I couldn’t break away so turned really quick and then he pushed him to the ground,’ Pedersen said in her description of the incident.
‘Clearly it means the DA doesn’t have a daughter, first of all, or have any care for women’s protection and safety whatsoever because you literally have the video of him doing this,’ she continued. .
The horrifying video begins with Rebekah Pedersen walking passed the homeless suspect in broad daylight
After she passes him, the suspect began to follow her, unzipped his pants, grabbed her and through her to the ground
That’s when a man sitting nearby sprang into action and sprayed pepper spray at the attacker, chasing him away
Suspect Miguel Avila, 30, was arrested shortly after the incident and booked on charges of sexual battery, an offense that carries a maximum of six months in prison and held on a bail of $1,000. Attempted rape carries with it a maximum sentence of six years.
The horrific incident occurred on October 20 outside of a Village Market restaurant. Surveillance video shows the suspect sitting on the ground as Pedersen walks by.
After she passes him, he hurries up behind her and grabs her, throwing her to the ground. An man sitting nearby springs into action and pepper sprays the would-be attack who then runs away.
Bravely, Pedersen has gone on camera to describe her ordeal in several interviews.
‘In that moment, I had no idea [what was happening]. My first thought was, “Is this someone I know playing a joke on me?” Then, in a matter of seconds, I was like “Oh no. He’s not letting me go.” So I turned really quick and fell to the ground,’ she told KTLA.
‘’m just lucky that it happened in daylight and not at night because then I probably would have been raped,’ she added.
The man who pepper sprayed the suspect, Dan McIntyre, gave a horrifying description of the attacker to CBS Los Angeles saying that the man was ‘salivating’ prior to grabbing Pedersen.
‘His tongue was just going in and out and he was just focused on who was right ahead of him. He looked demon-possessed. If I’ve ever seen a demon possession that’s it,’ he said.
The victim, Rebekah Pedersen, shown here, has chosen to speak out about the attack and has called out the district attorney’s office unwillingness to bring felony charges
One witness described the suspect as ‘salivating’ and appearing ‘demon possessed’ prior to the attack
Good Samaritan Dan McIntyre sprang into action when the assault began and chased Avila away
Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon has come under intense scrutiny of his liberal attitude to violent crime
Meanwhile witness, Jason Greenleaf told KTLA: ‘It was horrifying to see. I mean, this neighborhood is out of control.’
Greenleaf went on to say that local police refer to the stretch where Pedersen was attacked as ‘the beast.’
‘They say they don’t have enough officers to patrol the area and they tell us not to do anything. We’re in a predicament,’ he added.
Another witness, a local hairstylist, said that she is often worried for women walking along the stretch and encourages them to either carry a weapon or take self-defense classes.
Pedersen told ABC Los Angeles that she plans to get a gun license and a taser.
‘I want that guy in jail, so that he doesn’t go and actually rape somebody,’ she said.
The story attracted so much attention that Long Beach’s Mayor Rex Richardson issued a video statement on the crime.
‘This incident is absolutely unacceptable. Every resident deserves to feel safe as they walk through our community,’ the mayor said.
‘The reality is the substance abuse challenges, the mental health challenges, are affecting downtowns across our region. That’s why I’ll be asking for enhanced focus on our downtown,’ he added.
‘If we don’t take care of downtown we’re going to see this spreading into all of our districts,’ Vice Mayor Cindy Allen said, adding that the local council is plotting a series of actions to increase safety in the downtown section of Long Beach.
Avila will make his first appearance in court on Friday.
Since 2020, Long Beach has seen an increase of 62 percent in the city’s homeless community. During that same time time period, property crime has increased 23 percent in the downtown area.
In 2022, the city was forced to shudder its city library for a period due to concerns of the safety of staff, reports The Long Beach Post.