Monday, December 10, 2018     Volume: 19, Issue: 40

Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on December 12th, 2017, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 18, Issue 41 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 18, Issue 41

Witness helps Sheriff's Office nab sexual assault suspect


Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested an 18-year-old Santa Maria man on Dec. 6, after a witness reported seeing him assault and attempt to rape a 15-year-old girl.

The Sheriff’s Office stated that Nicholas Padilla, 18, was driving on the 2600 block of West Main Street on Dec. 6 when he “became angry with the victim, stopped his car and began striking the victim with his hands.”

A witness attempted to stop the assault while notifying police, but “Padilla fled the area with the victim’s feet hanging outside the passenger side window of his vehicle with the witness following,” according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Padilla then drove the car to Casmalia, where he allegedly pulled the vehicle to the side of the road, held a knife to the victim’s neck, and attempted to rape her. The Sheriff’s Office said Padilla physically carried the victim and tried to place her in his car’s trunk but that she managed to break free and run to the witness who was reporting the incident down the road.

Deputies located Padilla not long afterward. The Sheriff’s Office said he “struggled” with officers before being arrested on suspicion of kidnapping, sexual assault with intent to commit rape, domestic violence, and criminal threats. He was booked into the Lompoc City Jail where he is being held on a $1 million bail.

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