Copyright 2017 The Deseret News Publishing Co.
Deseret Morning News (Salt Lake City)
TAYLORSVILLE - A man who police say sexually assaulted a female college student by waiting in a women's locker room and grabbing her from behind was arrested following an intense search Friday.
Timothy Alan Wyatt, 33, of Salt Lake City, was arrested after police say he randomly grabbed an 18-year-old woman in the locker room at Salt Lake Community College, 4600 S. Redwood Road, about 8 a.m.
"He was looking for a victim," said Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Todd Royce, who called it a "scary" situation.
Royce said Wyatt was in the women's locker room at the campus' Life Activities Center. Based on surveillance video and from watching his "movements" on the recording, Royce said it is believed Wyatt was waiting for someone to abduct.
Wyatt, who is not enrolled as a student, waited in the locker room for 90 minutes, according to a Salt Lake County Jail booking report. The lights in the locker room were turned off when the woman walked in, and Wyatt put tape over the motion detectors to prevent the lights from coming on, the report states.
"She walks in, and he grabs her from behind," the sergeant said. "She fought back and screamed, and he ran out."
Wyatt was wearing latex gloves and tried to cover the woman's mouth, the report states. He tried to drag her farther into the locker room and grabbed one of her breasts, the report states.
The woman bit her attacker's arm and elbowed him in the chest, according to the report. The woman suffered bruises and a "large cut" to one of her arms, as well as minor injuries to her face, the report states.
As the man ran out the door, four other students followed him. He ran to an older model pickup truck in the parking lot and fled. But the students were able to get his license plate number, which Royce said was a "huge help."
UHP troopers, along with officers from the Unified Police Department, set up a containment in the neighborhood west of the college, where the man was last seen. The Utah Department of Public Safety helicopter was also brought in to search the area.
During that time, investigators believe Wyatt attempted to break into a house, according to the jail report.
About 10:30 a.m., a K-9 officer spotted the truck parked at a gas pump at 7-Eleven, 3510 S. Redwood Road.
The truck was empty, so the officer got his dog out and waited for Wyatt to come out of the store. When Wyatt came out, the officer ordered him to the ground and the K-9 helped contain him until backup could arrive, Royce said.
Investigators were still trying to determine Friday why Salt Lake Community College was chosen and whether similar crimes have occurred at other gyms. Royce said detectives do not believe the woman and Wyatt had any prior contact.
"We believe it was random, and we believe he is just a predator," he said. "He was waiting for someone, and it doesn't look like it was someone in particular. It was random."
Wyatt was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of forcible sexual abuse, burglary, assault and drug possession. Police found Wyatt was in possession of methamphetamine when he was arrested, the report states.
Wyatt is well-known to law enforcers. He has been charged numerous times over the past 15 years, according to court records. Most recently, he was charged with misdemeanor theft on March 17 and intoxication on March 28.
He pleaded guilty to attempted possession of a firearm by a restricted person in June 2016 in exchange for charges of stalking and trespassing being dismissed, according to court records.
Wyatt was convicted of drug distribution and unlawful possession of a weapon in 2015 in one case, and theft by receiving stolen property and drug possession in another. He was also convicted of drug-related charges in 2014, 2013 and 2008.
Wyatt has several charges and convictions related to stalking and other domestic violence-related crimes, according to court records, as well as other assault and weapons-related convictions.
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