MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami Police have arrested a man wanted in two separate attacks—one dating back to November, and another one last Wednesday that ended in his arrest.
Eduardo Ponce Salgado, 25, was arrested on January 22 according to the Miami Police Department and is being charged with sexual battery, Lewd and Lascivious molestation on a child 12-16 years, attempted sexual battery on a minor, and false imprisonment of a child under 13.
"He preys on women walking alone regardless of the time of day," said Officer Kenia Reyes of the Miami Police Department.
According to police, Salgado, on November 14, approached a 12-year-old while the victim was walking home from school around 4:40 p.m. in the area of NW 12 Avenue and 33 Street.
She was approached by the attacker and he, according to the arrest affidavit, started touching the victim's face and telling her how beautiful she was. The attacker, who police believe is Salgado, allegedly covered her mouth and began dragging the girl behind an abandoned home.
The victim was struggling with her attacker as he tried to take off her clothes. He eventually began to take his clothes off—that's when she punched him and was able to flee to safety on foot.
Police said DNA from the scene positively identified as that of 25-year-old Salgado. As police hoped these fliers would lead to the brazen assailant, another woman was victimized.
A little over two months later, on January 22 at approximately 9:45 a.m., a 22-year-old female was lost in the area of 3000 NW 12 Avenue. According to the arrest affidavit, the victim told a man that she was lost and needed help finding the Allapatah Metro Rail Station. The man police say is Salgado, offered to help.
While walking, the man began threatening the victim, pulled the victim's sweater over her head, and pushed her into the yard of an abandoned home. He then proceeded to choke her, police said, and raped her.
A witness, however, saw the incident and called police. When police arrived, they were able to apprehend and arrest Salgado.
"Fear is the first thing you think when somebody is brash to do that in public," neighbor Manny De La Cruz said.
"That's very bad," neighbor Christina Columbie said. "Around this neighborhood, it's getting really bad."
People who live on Ponce Salgado's street were shocked to learn of his arrest, but not surprised at the amount of violent crime in their community.
"It's just really sad that it had to be people that I know. You get me? It's just overwhelming the information," Ronal Gamez told CBS4's Lauren Pastrana.
"You have to be concerned because you have a lot of women, ladies that live around here. I have a daughter myself," Jesus Rivero said. "You never know who's your neighbor."
Investigators say they've received tips that sound familiar and believe there may be more victims out there.
"There's a lot of similarities. Kudos to these woman who are able to get detailed descriptions of these sexual assailants," said Reyes.
If you any information, call Miami-Dade Crimestoppers at 305-471-TIPS.
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