Serial sex assault suspect arrested in Flagstaff - Dallas News |

Serial sex assault suspect arrested in Flagstaff

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Gregory Woody Junior Gregory Woody Junior
Suspect sketch Suspect sketch

A man suspected in several sex assaults in downtown Flagstaff has been taken into custody, Flagstaff Police announced Thursday, in an undercover operation undertaken by a brave female officer.

The suspect has preyed on young women since last January. In some of the cases, the women were walking home from the downtown bar district when they were approached by the suspect, a Native American male in his mid-20s.

Flagstaff Police say they have DNA evidence that links Gregory Woody Junior to the crimes.

Police say the break in the case came last week when an undercover police officer working in the bar district encountered the suspect.

"On Friday August 9, 2013 an undercover female Flagstaff Police officer, two of them [Officers Jolene Coules and Callie VanOoteghem]... became aware of a male subject matching the description in our sexual assault cases that appeared very suspicious. The subject spent a long time in the bar without ordering and then was later seen peering into the window of a second bar while standing outside.

"The officer... working undercover and as a decoy, walked past the subject and said hi. He immediately began walking with her north on Leroux. The subject eventually asked her to sit with him in an unlit area and asked her several times if she would like a ride out of the area... at one point this subject touched her by running his hand down the back of her shirt along her lower back and waist line.

"He also grabbed her in a bear hug on multiple occasions and attempted on several occasions to kiss her. The subject also threw her over the shoulder in a fireman's carry... she was able to escape the subject's embrace and as she continued walking with the individual noted the subject was driving a white Toyota pickup and obtained the licence plate of the vehicle," said Flagstaff Police Chief Kevin Treadway.

After learning of his arrest, we spoke to the first victim, who was allegedly sexually assaulted by Woody in January.

"I'm happy and relieved... just relief knowing that he's off the street, not going to hurt anyone else and going to jail which is what he deserves," said victim Stephanie, who was a student at Northern Arizona University.

"I got into his car and he drove me, instead of taking me home which I assumed he offered, I don't remember, he took me to an isolated location."

Woody's photo will not be released at this point in the investigation, Flagstaff Police said. They noted he lives at an apartment on Kofa, where the first sexual assault occurred.

Investigators are checking to see if he's connected to unsolved sexual assaults in Colorado and Montana. He's being held on $100,000 bond.

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