Crime

Dinuba suspect held in rape, kidnap of local woman

Fernando Velasquez Cruz, 52, is suspected of kidnapping and raping a Dunuba woman, police reported.
Fernando Velasquez Cruz, 52, is suspected of kidnapping and raping a Dunuba woman, police reported. Dinuba Police Department

Dinuba police Monday reported the arrest of Fernando Velasquez Cruz, 52, in connection with the kidnap and rape of a woman on Sept. 5 in the South Valley city.

The arrest took place after community members assisted in identifying Velasquez Cruz, police reported, and he was taken into custody in the 1300 block of South O Street. Charges also include assault with a deadly weapon.

A police spokesman said the kidnap happened about 7:30 p.m. as the victim was walking near a recycling center and a man grabbed her, put a knife to her neck and dragged her into his vehicle. She was sexually assaulted in an orchard near Sultana before she was brought back to Dinuba.

Police continue to investigate the case and it is believed that Velasquez Cruz may have approached other women. Anyone with information is asked to contact Dinuba Police at 559-591-5911 or 559-591-8471 to remain anonymous.

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