Phoenix PD: Man arrested for sexually assaulting jogger near canal

Police say they've made an arrest in connection to the sexual assault of a woman who was jogging along a north Phoenix canal with the help of two good Samaritans.

According to police, the initial incident happened just after 7:30 a.m. on Monday near Central and Dunlap avenues. A woman had reported that she was sexually assaulted and attacked by a man who fled before authorities arrived.

The next day, he allegedly attacked an elderly woman from behind near 7th Avenue and Campbell before he was stopped by two men, who held the suspect down long enough for police to arrive.

Good Samaritans speak out

The two good Samaritans who helped save the elderly woman were both driving at the time. One witnessed a scuffle on the side of the road and pulled over before eventually being joined by the other driver.

The two, identified as Ruben Gomez and Josh Zaruba, spoke in public about their experience on Sept. 16.

"It's unbelievable," Gomez recounted. "She just said ‘get him off of me!’ She had death in her face."

"She was screaming bloody murder, literally. It was haunting. When I saw it, I thought of my mom, or my grandma," Zaruba recounted.

The two quickly jumped in to help, and wrestled the suspect to the ground.

"You see that, and the first thing you want to do is help. No fear at all. Later on, I thought about it, he could’ve had a knife or a gun, but as it’s happening, you just want to help," said Gomez.

Suspect identified

The suspect, identified as 34-year-old Charles Torbeck Jn Michely, was arrested in connection to both assaults.

Police say that during the investigation, the victim worked with a forensic artist to create a composite sketch of the suspect. Prior to the sketch being released to the public, a crime analyst compared it to recent booking photos and noticed similarities.

"The analyst noticed the shirt the suspect was wearing in the booking photo, matched the description of the shirt the sexual assault victim provided to detectives," police said in a news release on Sept. 16.

Investigators then learned that Michely was wearing a GPS monitor at the time of the incident and data from the monitor placed him in the area where the sexual assault occurred near the north Phoenix canal.

"I was reading the story, his description literally fit perfectly. I was about to go to bed and instantly, I was wide awake. This has to be the dude. You can call it a great coincidence this all happened, but it was something else. I’m just glad the woman’s OK," said Zaruba.

The sexual assault victim identified Michely in a photo lineup.

In addition to the first assault, Michely is now accused of attempted murder, sexual assault and kidnapping.

Charles Torbeck Jn Michely

Charles Torbeck Jn Michely (Phoenix Police Department)

Canal near where a woman says she was assaulted by a man. It happened near Central and Dunlap avenues on Sept. 13.

An arrest has been made in connection to the sexual assault of a female jogger along a canal near Central and Dunlap in north Phoenix, police said.

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