Ten Fort Collins women have been attacked over the past few months, and police believe the same man assaulted many, if not all, of them.
Against this backdrop, 27-year-old Jose Alderete-Gomez has been arrested in one of the incidents -- and investigators are working to see if they can link him to any of the others. Details, photo, video and more below.
As we reported on October 10, the Larimer County Sheriff's Office announced its supposition that an attack that took place two days earlier, on October 8, was committed by the same person responsible for six previous assaults on women in the area.
The LCSO didn't pinpoint where the October 8 incident happened. Rather, the offense was simply said to have taken place "along the Highway 1 corridor just north of Fort Collins." However, 7News offers this image....
...and this one.... ...in its reporting about the location.
As for what took place, the LCSO revealed that a woman riding her bicycle was physically assaulted by a man unknown to her. She described him as a Hispanic male in his thirties with a stocky-to-muscular build, either a shaved head or very short hair, a mustache and a soul patch. He subsequently fled in an older model white or light-colored SUV with faded wood-grain paneling or two-tone paint on its sides.
This scenario was similar to ones in the previous six attacks. In each case, the victim was alone and outside between the hours of 7 p.m. and midnight. Moreover, the descriptions of the suspect were similar enough that law enforcers released a single sketch depicting him. Here it is:
The Fort Collins Coloradoan subsequently revealed that a September incident on the Colorado State University campus that was originally included in the list of seven attacks was no longer thought to be connected to the suspect in the other cases. But two more assaults followed that fit the modus operandi.
At 10:30 p.m. on Friday, October 24, Fort Collins cops responded to the 3000 block of West Elizabeth Street, an area captured in the following interactive graphic. If you have problems seeing the image, click "View Larger Map."
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There, officers encountered a woman who said she'd been assaulted by a single male suspect while jogging.
Cut to 10:50 p.m. that same night, when the FCPD got another related call -- this one telling of a physical assault by a man on a woman who'd been walking near the intersection of City Park Avenue and Baystone Drive. Here's an interactive graphic depicting that area:
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In each case, the description of the perpetrator was similar to those offered after the previous six attacks: a Hispanic male in the thirty-to-forty-years range, standing between five-seven and six-feet tall, with a medium-to-heavy build and short, shaved hair, possibly driving an older-model white SUV.
Fortunately, neither of the women in the Friday crimes was seriously hurt.
Then, earlier this month, Kelli Middleton came forward to say she, too, had been attacked.
Granted, the Middleton scenario had elements that differed from the others: She was assaulted early one morning, not the evening, by a man who demanded her purse and wielded a box cutter. But although Fort Collins authorities haven't connected it to the other crimes, Middleton says the man who bruised her face.... ...and cut her stomach.... ...looked very much like the police sketch above.
Then, finally, a break. At 10:59 a.m. on November 21, LCSO deputies busted Alderete-Gomez on allegations of second-degree assault in the October 8 attack on the bike-riding woman. And while Fort Collins Police Services is said to be "conducting further investigation and forensic analysis on the remaining cases," a huge bond has been placed on Alderete-Gomez: $450,000. That's an indication cops feel strongly he may have been responsible for more than just one of the offenses.
No mug shot of Alderete-Gomez has been released at this writing.
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