Police: Serial sexual assault suspect's victims are random, 'and - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU


Police: Serial sexual assault suspect's victims are random, 'and that's what's scary'

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Thomas Ponce, 27 (Source: LPD) Thomas Ponce, 27 (Source: LPD)
Thomas Ponce, 27 (Source: LPD) Thomas Ponce, 27 (Source: LPD)
Thomas Ponce, 27 (Source: LPD) Thomas Ponce, 27 (Source: LPD)
Thomas Ponce, 27 (Source: LPD) Thomas Ponce, 27 (Source: LPD)

The Lubbock Police Department is actively searching for 27-year-old Thomas Ponce out of concern for the public's safety.

"He literally may be on the prowl to commit another sexual assault," said Lubbock Police Chief Greg Stevens in a news conference on Thursday.

Ponce has a warrant out for his arrest for aggravated sexual assault. Police now say Ponce is accused of abducting and sexually assaulting two women in the past two days. One victim was in Lubbock County, the other inside the Lubbock city limits, at the Village at Overton apartments.

"We have exhausted a number of resources, we have held no resources back, looking for this individual over the last number of hours, and we have so far not found him. And we have some significant concerns that he will attempt to victimize another person," said Chief Stevens.

"We want to make sure we have warned the public and we want to ask for the public's assistance to help capture this very dangerous individual," Chief Stevens said.

The first sexual assault happened around 4 a.m. on Tuesday in Lubbock County. Chief Stevens said Ponce kicked in the door of a Lubbock County home where he then sexually assaulted a young female. Chief Stevens said Ponce then took her to a different location against her will. She reportedly escaped and called 911. Police said Ponce fled the scene.

Later that evening, police believe Ponce abducted a young female at The Village at Overton Apartments.

Police said Ponce forced her into her apartment, sexually assaulted her and held her against her will for 12 hours.

She told officers she managed to escape Wednesday morning, which is when she called 911. Officers said Ponce ran from the scene.

Now, the Lubbock County Sheriff's Office and the Lubbock Police Department are working jointly on this investigation.

During Thursday's news conference, Lubbock County Sheriff Kelly Rowe and Chief Stevens urged the public to be very aware of their surroundings.

They encourage anyone who sees Ponce to not approach him, but call 911.

"This is a very dangerous individual. He has a violent history to include other instances of kidnapping, assaults again family members, non-family members, children. There is almost no one he will not assault, not victimize" said Chief Stevens.

Chief Stevens went on to say there are instances where Ponce has been armed and is known to frequent the homeless community.

"We have concerns of him victimizing people in the homeless community. We know that he used some of the resources available to homeless individuals to stay at large and further his attempt to escape and remain in the public," Chief Stevens said.

Chief Stevens said these are random acts of violence, "and that's what's scary."

Ponce is an Hispanic male, 5'07" and 225 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. He has a Star of David tattoo on the right side of his neck, a cursive letter 'T' below his right eye, and numerous other tattoos.

LPD and the sheriff's office has multiple units searching for Ponce, and are asking for the public's help.

Again, they want to warn the public not to approach Ponce.

"He has been able to complete these two particular assaults without a weapon, just with his physical strength," Chief Stevens said.

Anyone with information on Ponce's whereabouts is asked to call Crime Line at (806) 741-1000. Callers may remain anonymous and they could be eligible for a $1,000 cash reward.

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