April 6, 2016

Attempted Sexual Assault – Suspect Arrested

On Tuesday April 5, 2016 at approximately 9:47 am, Santa Cruz Police Officers responded to a report of an attempted sexual assault that had just occurred at Walgreens on 201 Front Street. A male suspect pulled a female employee into the bathroom and attempted to sexually assault her. The 25 year old victim was able to fight back by punching and kicking the assailant. The victim’s screams for help eventually got the attention of another store employee who came to assist. The suspect attacker then fled from the store. The victim suffered injuries to her hand from fighting off the suspect.
 Image from store security camera 
As Officers arrived, the victim provided a detailed description of the attacker. Store security cameras also captured images of the suspect. The description and photo immediately went out to the team of Santa Cruz Police Officers who had secured a perimeter. Several Officers were familiar with the suspect and quickly identified him as Billy Patton.
Billy Patton, 34 years old, transient from Santa Cruz
Within 15 minutes, a Santa Cruz Police Traffic Officer located suspect Billy Patton on the San Lorenzo Levee under the Broadway Bridge. Billy Patton, 34 years old, transient from Santa Cruz was detained without incident.
The investigation revealed that Patton created a ruse when he asked to use the store bathroom. As the employee keyed in the code to open the door, Patton pushed her into the bathroom and attempted to sexually assault her. The victim fought off the suspect by punching and kicking him. Billy Patton fled when a second employee responded to her screams for help.

Billy Patton was arrested for assault with intent to commit rape, false imprisonment with force, sexual battery and burglary. Detectives obtained a bail increase to $250,000 for Mr. Patton.
Our investigation discovered that Mr. Patton had been released from the Santa Clara County Jail on Monday April 4, 2016 less than 24 hours before this attack. Mr. Patton has a history of arrest by the Santa Cruz Police Department on charges including assault to commit rape, stalking, false imprisonment with force, illegal weapons and drug violations.