Fresno police Tuesday announced the arrest of a 24-year-man accused of a violent rape of a homeless woman Sunday at Palm and Shields avenues in central Fresno.
Taken into custody was Micah Orlando Collins, who allegedly punched the 52-year-old woman repeatedly in the face during a vicious assault in an alley. The attack was captured on a nearby video camera.
Chief Jerry Dyer called Collins “a sick human being who has no business being in society.”
Dyer described the victim as a highly educated woman with multiple college degrees who fell down on her luck four years ago and has since been living on the streets.
The chief credited quick action by police and detectives who used the video evidence to arrest Collins just hours after the assault.
The victim remains in the hospital with multiple facial fractures, along with other injuries sustained in the beating, Dyer said.
During a news conference, the chief released a portion of the video, which showed the suspect throwing a left-handed punch that knocked the victim to the ground.
The attack took place in pre-dawn hours near the 300 block of East Shields. Dyer said the victim and the suspect had been acquainted for about a week. The suspect later told police his motivation for the attack was that the victim “disrespected” him. Before the assault, he grabbed the victim’s backpack, and allegedly lured her into the alley to get it back. That’s when he threw the punch and initiated the attack, Dyer said.
After the attack, Collins allegedly returned to the victim to punch her in the head and kick her before covering her with cardboard boxes and walking away. The woman spent several hours going in and out of consciousness before she was found by a passerby, who alerted a third person to call police.
Dyer said the vicious attack was an example of the danger facing those who live on Fresno’s streets, especially women.
“Assaults occur every night and day,” he said.
Collins, who is from the Bakersfield area, was booked on two counts of rape and assault with a deadly weapon.
Collins has an extensive criminal history, Dyer said, including assault with a deadly weapon and domestic violence. The chief said he hoped the arrest would lead to an extensive prison stay for the suspect.