DPD Releases Info in Lake Highlands Sex Assaults

12 schools go on "caution lockdown" after sex assault Tuesday

By Frank Heinz
|  Wednesday, Mar 20, 2013  |  Updated 9:00 AM CDT
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Police are continuing their search for at least one person wanted in connection with two sexual assaults in Lake Highlands in the last week.

Kendra Lyn, NBC 5 News

Police are continuing their search for at least one person wanted in connection with two sexual assaults in Lake Highlands in the last week.

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Dallas police said a woman was sexually assaulted in the Lake Highlands area on Tuesday morning, the third attack in less than a month.

Police said the man kicked in the door of a home on Aldwick Drive at about 6:45 a.m. and sexually assaulted a woman in her bed. The woman's husband had just left for work, police said.

The woman described her attacker as a Latino man in his early 20s with light skin, a thin build and a thin mustache. The man spoke English with a Spanish accent and wore a gray hoodie and black leather gloves. Police said the man may have a scratch on his body.

Officials said the victim lives just blocks away from Ferndale Road, where police are investigating two other sexual assaults, one on March 15 and one on Feb. 22.

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Lake Highlands Residents Attend Meeting, Address Sex Assaults

Lake Highlands residents packed a previously scheduled crime watch meeting at the Dallas Assembly of God Church on Tuesday night.

Dallas Police Investigate Third Sex Assault

The Dallas Police Department is investigating a third sexual assault in the Lake Highlands area, this time the victim fought back.
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Police say a man who has been in police custody on other charges since early March is suspected in the Feb. 22 case.

On March 15, a woman was assaulted at about 10 p.m. inside her home on Ferndale Drive by a man she described as Latino and in his 20s with a round, chubby face and a buzz cut. He was clean-shaven and spoke English with a Spanish accent.

In a news conference Tuesday afternoon, Police Chief David Brown said Fernando Munoz, the man suspected the Feb. 22 attack, has been linked by DNA evidence to at least three other sexual assaults in 2008 and 2010.

Brown said the public should be aware that the Lake Highlands attacks are not all related.

"We want the public to be clear that some of the offenses that have occurred, we attribute to Munoz, and he's in jail and won't be getting out," Brown said. "We want the public to be concerned about the right things. Today's incident and the March 15 incident have outstanding suspects that we need to catch, and we need their help."

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Brown said investigators have not yet determined if the attacks on March 15 and March 19 are connected, saying there could be two potential attackers. Brown said police need to further speak with the victims to learn as much as they can about their attackers, and that takes time.

Meanwhile, police are contacting all known sexual assault offenders in the area who match the description of the attackers and have beefed up patrols in the area, Brown said.

Lake Highlands residents packed a previously scheduled crime watch meeting at the Dallas Assembly of God Church on Tuesday night.

Officers tried to reassure residents that their efforts to catch those responsible for the attacks are constant, including increased patrols in cars and on bikes. Much of the meeting was devoted to the previously planned agenda for the crime watch meeting, such as upgrades on technology, social media, crimes statistics and other information.

Some residents left feeling satisfied with the police departments efforts, while others said they wanted more specifics on the attacks and what they can do to protect themselves and their neighbors.

Neighbors are now looking out for each other as concern grows about whether or not  a sexual predator may strike again.

"Our doors are locked, our windows are locked, and we're just, we're just looking out for each other," said Lake Highlands resident Ashley Jones.

Some suggested that another meeting was necessary to specifically address concerns on the sexual assaults. No such meeting has been scheduled, but police say they are open to listening and responding to any concerns.

A dozen schools in the Richardson Independent School District were placed under a "caution lockdown" Tuesday while officers searched for the attacker.

Police officials said they did not request the "caution lockdown" of the 12 campuses, which was implemented by the school district as a precaution.

Tim Clark, with the school district, described a caution lockdown as one in which students are not allowed to leave the building. He said the district was just being cautious because of the police activity. School officials said all campuses dismissed at the normal time.

Crime Stoppers is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the cases. Anyone with information is asked to call the police tip line at 214-670-4415.

NBC 5's Randy McIlwain and Ray Villeda contributed to this report.

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