Attacker targets two women at Chandler mall

Posted at 1:11 PM, May 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-06 21:25:52-04

A man who sexually assaulted a woman, stole a car, then crashed the stolen vehicle is going to be booked into jail as soon as he's released from a hospital, police said. 

According to the Chandler Police Department, around 10 p.m. on Thursday a man sexually assaulted a woman who was in the parking lot of the Chandler Fashion Center. The woman was trying to get into her vehicle when the attack happened. 

The woman yelled for help, and as people came to her assistance, the man fled on foot. 

"While all this is going on, people are calling 911," Chandler Police Det. Seth Tyler said. "We are on our way to the area as he flees the first vehicle and finds the second vehicle."

The man stole that vehicle after he ran to a different part of the parking lot and threatening another woman. 

Investigators say the man drove off and crashed a few miles away near Dobson Road and Market Street. He was ejected from the car and was taken to a hospital where he's being treated for non-life threatening injuries. 

Shoppers at the mall say they usually see security guards patrolling, but they can't be too careful.

"Be very aware of your surroundings, I guess; look all around," Marilyn Gonzalez said.

"I carry pepper spray, and I really don't go out alone at night," Kate Haas said.

As soon as the man recovers, police say they will book him into a county jail where he will face charges that include sexual assault, aggravated assault and grand theft auto. 

The man's name is not being released at this time.