SCPD: Santa Cruz man punched woman after she confronts him about prowling

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - A man is behind bars again following an incident in Santa Cruz.

Officers say yesterday afternoon they responded to an attempted strong-arm robbery in the parking lot at Front Street and Cathcart Street. Officers immediately located a female victim who had been struck in the face with a closed fist. SCPD called for SCFD & AMR to the scene as a precautionary measure. Fortunately, the victim did not require serious medical attention. 

The victim told officers she was walking back to her car when she noticed an unknown male looking into her vehicle and pulling the door handles. The woman approached the suspect and told him to get away from the car. Officers say the suspected car prowler shouted profanity and then punched her in the face. The suspect attempted to take the victim's purse from her. The man was unsuccessful in obtaining the woman's purse because the victim's adult daughter and a witness pushed the suspect away. The subject then fled southbound on Front Street. 

The victim and witnesses gave an "excellent description" of the suspect. A few hours later, City Rangers working with SCPD found 42-year-old Jason Sparks, a well-known transient. He was arrested for felony attempted robbery. 

Jason Sparks has a long history and a multitude of contacts with local law enforcement. Since 2014, SCPD has arrested Mr. Sparks over 17 times for charges related to drugs, battery, and indecent exposure.

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