SANTA CRUZ, CA — Another woman has been attacked in broad daylight on a downtown Santa Cruz street, and the suspect is back in jail for the nearly 20th time. Jason Sparks, a 42-year-old transient with a long arrest history, was taken into custody Monday afternoon after an attempted strong-arm robbery of a woman who was returning to her vehicle around 1:10 p.m. in a parking lot at Front and Cathcart streets. Sparks is suspected of punching the woman in the face and unsuccessfully trying to nab her purse.
The arrest came after the woman saw a man, later identified as Sparks, pulling on her vehicle's door handles. She tried to shoo him away, but he allegedly shouted profanity at her, punched her in the face and attempted to grab her purse. The woman's adult daughter, who was nearby, was able to scare the man off and provide a description of him to police. A few hours later, Santa Cruz police officers spotted Sparks in downtown and made an arrest on suspicion of felony attempted robbery. The woman was not seriously injured in the incident.
Since 2014, officers have arrested Sparks over 17 times for charges related to drugs, battery and indecent exposure, according to the SCPD.
Another suspect, 38-year-old Justin Schreiber, was arrested Thursday in downtown Santa Cruz after allegedly striking a woman in the face while calling her a derogatory name. There is no indication that the two cases are related.
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