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Man hunt leads to arrest

A suspect has been arrested after law enforcement used helicopters and canine units to search the Memorial Park area after a man allegedly broke into a home and attempted to sexually assault a 14 year old girl.

“We have a suspect in custody. He was hiding in a house,” said Captain Ron Smith, of the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office.

Dogs found Jonathan Rodriguez, 29, hiding in room of a house on Cherry Street, Smith said.



“It was a house he had access to,” Smith said.

The alleged home invasion and attempted sexual assault to the juvenile occurred about 11:45 a.m. Wednesday in Cedar Ridge, according to the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office dispatch.




Rodriguez has been charged with sexual assault, kidnapping and home invasion, Smith said.

The girl was baby-sitting at a private residence when the man entered the house and took her to a back room and closed the door. One of the children who was under the girl’s care, went to a neighbor’s house to call for help, Smith said.

“The father called from Auburn and we went out and checked the residence,” a dispatch from the Nevada County Sheriff Office said.

“He ran when we got there. He had an escape plan all figured out,” Smith said.

A helicopter flew loudly over Terri Gallagher’s house on Pine Hill Drive, in the Union Hill area.

“The neighbors are all in an uproar,” Gallagher said.

A dispatcher on the sheriff’s nonemergency line “said to keep your doors locked and keep your kids inside,” Gallagher added.

Nevada County Search and Rescue, Placer County Sheriff’s Office, California State Parks, Grass Valley Police Department and California Highway Patrol assisted in the search.

“It was really a fantastic effort. It went up fast,” Smith said. Various agencies set up a loose perimeter around Grass Valley. Officers pursued Rodriguez by vehicle and foot.

The search of the immediate area was called off but the investigation was continuing with investigators from the Department of Justice on route to the county,” Smith said.


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