Man arrested after attempted sexual assault of teen

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Israel Velazquez Martinez By Jennifer Thomas Israel Velazquez Martinez By Jennifer Thomas

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Tempe police officers arrested a 30-year-old man after he allegedly attempted to sexually assault a teen Saturday night and now detectives have linked him to two other crimes.

According to Sgt. Steve Carbajal, Israel Velazquez Martinez approached the 16-year-old from behind as she was walking near Priest Drive and the U.S. 60 Superstition Freeway and grabbed her in what was described as a "bear hug." The suspect also grabbed the victim's breast on the outside of her clothing. 

The suspect pulled the victim to the ground and they both rolled down an embankment. Carbajal said the suspect covered the victim's mouth to keep her from screaming and put his hand down her pants.

A passerby observed the struggle and stopped the attack. The suspect fled, but police officers located him in the area a short time later.

Velazquez Martinez was placed under arrest and made admissions to his involvement and his sexual intentions, according to Carbajal.

Tempe police detectives reviewed open cases with similar circumstances and determined that Velazquez Martinez was responsible for two other crimes in the same area.

Detectives said Velazquez Martinez sexually abused a woman earlier that evening at Arizona Mills Mall by groping her over her clothing. Detectives also found that Velazquez Martinez assaulted a 17-year-old girl with sexual motivation on July 14 in the area of Priest Drive and Southern Avenue.

Velazquez Martinez was booked into Tempe City Jail on one count each of kidnapping, attempted sexual assault, sexual abuse and assault with sexual motivation.

Anyone with any information on these incidents is asked to call the Tempe Police Department at 480-350-8311.