UPDATE 3:25 p.m. Friday: San Luis Obispo police have identified a man they believe was involved in one of three assaults that occurred in the downtown area on Thursday.
The man appeared in San Luis Obispo Superior Court on Friday on an unrelated charge, according to police. He was taken into custody at court based upon the result of that hearing, but more details about the hearing were not immediately available.
Police did not release his name or city of residence. He is described as a white male in his 50s, about 5 feet 8 inches to 5 feet 10 inches tall with white hair and blue eyes.
Sgt. Jeff Booth said police don’t want to compromise their work on the two other assault investigations by releasing the man’s identity and photo. It wasn’t immediately known to which of the three assaults the man had been linked.
Police believe he will remain in County Jail until the investigation is complete.
Original story: Three women were punched or spit upon by a white man in his 50s in downtown San Luis Obispo on Thursday, police said.
Sgt. Jeff Booth said the attacks were unprovoked. The series of incidents occurred this way:
At 11 a.m. a woman was walking in the area of 1119 Garden St. when she was punched in the face by a white man in his 50s. He had white hair, blue eyes, a thin build and wore a red shirt.
Several blocks away, a second assault occurred involving a woman pushing a stroller. In this incident, a white man in his 50s with a thin build and wearing a hooded sweatshirt "spit an unknown fluid into the victim's face" before walking away, Booth said.
The third victim was walking in the 900 block of Monterey Street carrying an infant "when a white man in his 50s with gray hair, with a smaller build, spit an unknown fluid in her face," Booth said in a news release.
Booth said investigators believe the same man was involved in each incident because the attacks were similar. Police estimate the attacker to be between 5 feet 8 inches and 5 feet 10 inches tall.
The woman who was punched had superficial wounds and did not require treatment, Booth said. He did not know what kind of fluid — water or something else — might have been spit into the other women's faces.
"It's weird — very weird," Booth said.
Anyone with information that might help police find the assailant should call Crime Stoppers at 549-STOP or go to www.slotips.org.