Docs ID man in Chandler sex assault, crash case

Posted at 6:47 PM, May 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-10 01:29:47-04

A man suspected of assaulting a woman and stealing a car at Chandler Fashion Center mall faces a total of 12 charges.

Last week, police responded to Chandler Fashion Center for a report of a sexual assault and stolen vehicle.

Court documents show the man responsible is 21-year-old Cody Allen Laws. He faces charges including sexual assault, robbery and theft.

Police say he was in the mall parking lot when he approached a woman walking to her vehicle. He asked for her keys, and began fighting when she said no. Authorities say Laws pushed the victim into her car and began molesting her.

The victim was able to yell, attracting the attention of others in the parking lot, causing Laws to run away. Chandler police say he ran around to another side of the mall and approached another woman.

He took the second victim's keys from her hand and got into her car as officers were arriving on the scene. According to the probable cause statement, Laws hit a curb while speeding out of the parking lot, damaging one of the tires, and headed head-on for an approaching patrol cruiser.

The vehicles avoided crashing, and police called off the pursuit after officers say Laws drove through several traffic-control devices, including a red light.

Police received a report of a single-vehicle crash near the mall a short time later, and arrived to find the second victim's car and Laws at the scene.

The car was totaled in the crash.