| Crime |

Houston Man Suspected of Sexually Assaulting Girls Walking Home from School

Carlos Jose Ayala
Carlos Jose Ayala
Courtesy Houston Police
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Houston police have arrested a man they believe is responsible for as many as ten sexual assaults — including against girls as young as seven.

Carlos Jose Ayala has been charged with four counts of felony indecency with a child after police began surveillance of Ayala's vehicle and stopped him after a brief police chase. At that time, police said Ayala admitted to a sexual assault on 700 Shotwell.

Police began investigating Ayala after multiple young victims came forward and reported similar experiences and described a similar suspect and vehicle — a 2007 dark blue Toyota sedan. Ayala would drive past young girls while they were walking home from school in the Denver Harbor area, then come up behind them and touch them inappropriately, police said. The victims are all between the ages of seven and 15.

In one case, police said Ayala attempted to abduct a seven-year-old girl while she was walking home from school with her nine-year-old brother. The children reportedly told police that Ayala drove past them several times before parking near them, propping open the backseat door, then grabbing and assaulting the girl as he tried to pull her away. After her brother screamed at him, police say, Ayala put the girl down and fled.

Police began surveillance on Ayala's car on February 17. After police detained him, at least three victims positively identified him in three incidents other than the one he had already admitted to. It is unclear how police have implicated him in six others. Police say they will provide more details at a 2 p.m. briefing.

Police are asking any other victims out there to call the HPD Northeast Divisional Gang Unit at 713-635-0200.

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