One man arrested in connection with robberies and attempted sexual assault

RIVERSIDE – A 34-year-old Riverside man was arrested Friday, Dec. 30 in connection with a pair of robberies and attempted sexual assaults of women whose cars he allegedly rammed intentionally along Interstate 215 to get them to pull over.

Joseph Pete Macias was arrested around 2 a.m. in the 4400 block of Winslow Court, according to Riverside police, who said a tip from the public led them to the suspect. The vehicle allegedly used in the attacks, which occurred Dec. 23 and Thursday, Dec. 29, was also located at the home, police said.

Police said the assailant targeted the first victim around 1:16 a.m. Dec. 23 after she stopped at a gas station on University Avenue, just off Interstate 215. The woman first became aware of trouble as she left the station, telling police that a dark green compact SUV tailed her out of the location and onto southbound Interstate 215.

When she exited at Central Avenue a few miles away, the stalker “intentionally struck the back of her vehicle,” prompting the woman to pull to the side of the road, near Sycamore Canyon Boulevard, police said. The suspect then got out of his vehicle with a knife, robbed the woman and tried to sexually assult her.

The victim, who was not injured, was able to get away from him and call 911. She watched him flee onto the freeway, going southbound, in his vehicle.

Police said the assailant struck again shortly after 4 a.m. Thursday.

The victim in that case told police she was driving north on the 215 Freeway between University Avenue and Blaine Street when the suspect intentionally struck her vehicle, police said.

The woman pulled over near the Blaine Street exit, and the suspect again attacked her while armed with a knife, trying to sexually assault her and robbing her.

Riverside police said they believe there may be additional victims, and they asked anyone with information to contact Detective Karla Beler at (951) 353-7125.

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