Police say California Highway Patrol Officer R. DeAses was the officer who witnessed a homeless man grabbing a 16-year-old girl’s arm and then throwing her to the ground Monday afternoon.
DeAses saw the attack while making a routine traffic stop near Santa Rosa and Olive streets.
SLO police spokesman Capt. Ian Parkinson said DeAses went to the girl, who told him that she did not know her alleged assailant. The man had reportedly grabbed her arm and walked her backwards 12 to 15 feet before throwing her down.
The CHP officer then detained Fritz Arthur Holmer 60, until he could be arrested by city police on charges of false imprisonment. He remains in County Jail on that charge and on the additional charge of failing to provide DNA, with bail set at $12,000, county officials report.
The girl was unhurt and released to her mother.
Police believe Monday's incident is unrelated to the Oct. 3 case where a dark-haired younger man, who has not yet been identified, walked up to a 15-year-old girl in downtown San Luis Obispo and hit her in the face and broke her jaw. (To share information about that case, call San Luis Obispo police at 781-7337.)
Parkinson said there is no reason to believe the earlier case involved a homeless person.
But Parkinson said after business owners' complaints about increasing numbers of homeless in the city’s center, there was an effort throughout the fall to beef up enforcement downtown. Business owners complained about people urinating in public, aggressive panhandling and open alcohol containers.
There were 120 citations issued from through Jan. 1, and Parkinson said the number of complaints from businesses also dropped. The city is in the process of evaluating whether to continue with the heavier enforcement, he said.
A transient was arrested Monday after he allegedly grabbed a teenage girl by the arms as she walked in the 1000 block of Olive Street.
San Luis Obispo Police say Fritz Arthur Holmer, 60, was walking past the 16-year-old girl about 1:15 p.m. when he grabbed her by the arms. The girl then struggled to get away, but Holmer controlled her movement while pushing her backward about 15 feet, police said.
A CHP officer conducting a traffic stop nearby saw the struggle and followed Holmer after he pushed the girl to the ground and began to walk away, police said. The officer detained Holmer and contacted the San Luis Obispo Police Department.
Holmer was arrested on suspicion of false imprisonment and was booked in County Jail on $10,000 bail.
The girl was not injured and was released to her mother, police said.