A man has been arrested in connection with a string of sexual assaults that date back to the beginning of the year, Flagstaff police said Thursday.
DNA evidence led to the apprehension of 22-year-old Gregory Woody Jr.
Woody is being held at the Coconino County Detention Facility on $100,000 bond for one count of sexual assault.
Police say they began watching Woody in July following an encounter he had with a female undercover officer. He agreed to provide a DNA sample, which the crime lab matched to samples collected from victims of the alleged assaults.
Police Chief Kevin Treadway said Woody's arrest was the result of an extensive investigation.
The first incident occurred on Jan. 18 when a young woman was picked up in the downtown area in the early morning hours by a Native American male suspect. The man drove her to an isolated area near J.W. Powell Boulevard and Lonetree in Flagstaff, police said. The woman was violently physically and sexually assaulted.
On July 13, a second incident occurred where one woman and two men met a Native American suspect, who provided them a ride from the downtown area in the early morning hours. The three victims in this case were driven to a motel room they had previously acquired on Woodlands Village in Flagstaff, officers said.
Once they arrived, the three victims offered to allow the suspect to stay at the motel with them. Later that night, the suspect was involved in a fight with the two men, who then left the motel. The suspect attempted to sexually assault the woman and bit her. A swab was obtained of the bite mark, and police were told Wednesday evening that the forensic evidence matched the suspect involved in the January.
On July 21, a young woman was walking from the downtown area when she was approached by a Native American man near Humphreys and Route 66. The suspect asked her if she could provide directions to Thorpe Park. The woman proceeded to walk five blocks with the suspect, police said. Once in the area of her home, the suspect and victim parted.
A short time later, the suspect reapproached the victim and asked to borrow her phone. As she was attempting to locate it, the suspect violently assaulted her - physically and sexually. Forensic evidence collected during the investigation linked the suspect to the earlier cases.
On Aug. 8, the suspect attacked again. A woman reported she was walking in the downtown area late at night and the suspect began chasing her. The victim told police she was thrown to the ground and physically and sexually assaulted.
Flagstaff police placed extra officers in the downtown area late at night and in the early morning hours trying to identify any leads, enhance security and obtain further evidence. The Flagstaff Police Department notified all the downtown bar businesses and provided them with the composite sketch.
If people have any additional information about the cases, there are several ways to contact police. They can call the Flagstaff Police Department at 928-774-1414, Detective Bishop at 928-679-4058, Sgt. Shantz at 928-679-4075, Sgt. Beckman at 928- 679-4056 or Silent Witness at 928-774-6111.
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