HOUSTON — The Houston Police Department has arrested and charged a man suspected in at least 10 sexual assault cases within the last three years, including four incidents involving children, in the Houston and Harris County area.
Carlos Jose Ayala, 35, is facing four counts of indecency with a child and one count of felony evading.
The police department had received numerous reports of girls between 7 and 15 years of age being sexually assaulted while traveling to and from school in the Denver Harbor area near the East Freeway, officials said. The HPD Northeast Divisional Gang Unit initiated an investigation into the reports in January.
Investigators said his alleged victims reported seeing a man fitting Ayala's description and a 2007 dark blue Toyota sedan. The suspect is accused of coming up behind the victim and inappropriately touching them through their clothing, police said.
In one incident, Ayala is accused of attempting to kidnap a 7-year-old girl as she walked home from school with her 9-year-old brother.
The children told police the suspect drove past them several times before parking near them and getting out of his vehicle, the police department said. Officers said Ayala opened the back passenger door and then approached the girl.
Ayala assaulted the victim and then tried to put the girl in the back seat of his car, police said. The girl's brother screamed at Ayala, forcing him to put the child down and drive away.
The Northeast DGU and tactical officers set up a surveillance operation on Feb. 17 in the area of 700 Shotwell and the suspect's vehicle pass by, police said. Officers attempted a traffic stop, but Ayala refused to pull over and a chase ensued. The pursuit ended in the 100 block of Harris Street and Ayala was arrested.
Ayala is believed to be responsible for sexual assault incidents on the following dates and locations:
- 5655 East Sam Houston Parkway - June 5, 2014 (Harris County)
- 5655 East Sam Houston Parkway - July 7, 2014 (Harris County)
- 5650 East Sam Houston Parkway - October 24, 2014 (Harris County)
- 5655 East Sam Houston Parkway - August 30, 2015 (Harris County
- 700 Shotwell Street - October 7, 2016
- 11534 Spicewood Lane - November 22, 2016 (Harris County)
- 7320 Waxahachie - December 15, 2016
- 7018 Force - December 15, 2016
- 7200 Abilene Street - January 23, 2017
- 700 Shotwell - February 10, 2017
Police said the suspect admitted to the sexual assault incident on Shotwell and was positively identified by victims in at least three other incidents.
Investigators believe there may be other victims and ask anyone with additional information to contact the HPD Northeast Divisional Gang Unit at 713-635-0200.