Police confirmed that a stranger assaulted a teen Wednesday afternoon in the area near Arroyo Grande Community Hospital and Arroyo Grande High School, and report the suspected attacker was arrested.
About 4:40 p.m., authorities received several reports by phone that a child was thrown to the ground near the hospital, the Arroyo Grande Police Department reported.
Updated by continuing phone reports, officers learned within minutes that after being chased by several witnesses, police said, the suspected attacker was cornered in the back of a home on Cerro Vista Circle, near the Arroyo Grande Creek bed off of Fair Oaks Avenue.
Meanwhile, officers found the victim — a 17-year-old Arroyo Grande girl — near the Fair Oaks bridge over the creek. Other officers detained the alleged attacker.
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Police would not disclose the girl’s name.
They arrested Fernando Frias, 23, of Santa Maria, who is currently on parole.
Police did not have information on why he was on parole. Court records show that someone with that name was prosecuted for an unspecified felony in Santa Maria in 2006.
Frias was booked into the San Luis Obispo County Jail on suspicion of kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon and violating the terms of his parole.
Police said the girl told officers that as she was walking west along Fair Oaks near the high school, a man approached her asking for help finding his missing dog in the nearby farmland.
When she refused and walked away, Frias allegedly followed the girl to the bridge, and then dragged her down to the creek bed and under the bridge, according to police.
Several witnesses who were at the high school rehearsing for a show at the Clark Center told The Tribune that they saw a man drag a girl away.
Under the bridge, Frias allegedly beat the girl’s head and face with his fists and rocks. After she screamed, people ran toward the bridge and Frias let her go, police said.
The girl was treated at an undisclosed local hospital for face and head injuries, according to police.
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