Police: NorCal assault suspect planned to kidnap, rape women


WALNUT CREEK, California (KRON) – A man is behind bars after he assaulted a woman in Walnut Creek with the intent to rape her and had plans to assault multiple other women, according to the Walnut Creek Police Department. 

Around 7:20 a.m. on Mar. 26, a woman reported to officials that a man had just assaulted her at her car. 

She told officials that as she walked from her house on the 200 block of Camel Lane to her car an unknown man came up to her and assaulted her with a stun gun. 

The woman said she fought him off before he fled the area in a newer silver Volkswagen sedan. 

That afternoon in Fremont, a citizen found ‘suspicious items’ that seemed to be discarded on purpose in a dumpster — That’s when the person reported the items to the police department who responded to the area. 

Fremont officers determined that these items were in connection to the assault earlier that day in Walnut Creek — The items were examined and included plans to kidnap and sexually assault multiple women. 

Authorities were able to identify the suspect as 37-year-old Matt Owen Caruso from Newark. 

Through the investigation, officials were also able to identify the intended victims.

Caruso was located at his home in Newark on Mar. 27 where Walnut Creek and Newark Police arrested him. 

Officials then searched Caruso’s home finding multiple firearms and child pornography. 

“He is the classic boogie man that we all learn growing up and who to avoid,” Lieutenant Tom Cashion with the Walnut Creek Police Department said. “He planned out this event to the part where he researched where his victims lived, he went to their house and did surveillance at their house, he took photos of their house and he tried to learn as much as he could from them.”

Police say the victim and the other identified women were former co-workers that Caruso had his sites on. They say some information was found in what they dub a rape kit that he allegedly ditched in the dumpster. 

“In the items that we found in the dumpster in Fremont, did contain items that are consistent with someone who has a rape and kidnapping kit which included, um, you know ties, and bondage and uh, the stun gun, um disguises, um as well as the information of where our victims lived and what they looked like,” Cashion said.  

Court documents also indicate that among the items found in that box was a note that said, “I need to rape (Victim 2), I will tie her to my bed.”

He has been booked at Contra Costa County Jail.

On Mar. 29, the district attorney filed felony charges against Caruso for attempted kidnapping with intent to rape, assault with the intent to rape, and possession of child pornography — Bail has been set for $1,110,000. 

Walnut Creek police thank the Fremont and Newark departments for their help in getting Caruso in custody quickly. 

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