UPDATE at 10:55 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 24: The parolee has been captured. Details are below. First posted at 3:07 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 23.
As if the Los Angeles Police Department didn't already have its hands full with holiday party people, DUI enforcement and a number of recent homicides, a “violent” L.A. rapist who was on parole cut off his court-ordered GPS monitoring device and disappeared into the wind recently.
Forty-three-year-old fugitive Joseph Serapiglia is the man who raped, stabbed and beat a woman and then threw her down a Topanga Canyon hillside in 1991.
Police told us that late Friday night he cut off the ankle monitor he was ordered to wear as part of his parole.
That happened at Sepulveda and Roscoe boulevards in Panorama City, police said.
An officer working on the case, however, said that Serapiglia's last known address was withni the LAPD's Northeast Division area, which includes Highland Park, Glassell Park, Silver Lake, Los Feliz, Eagle Rock and other nearby communities.
Serapiglia was described by the department as “a dangerous felon who has exhibited a violent nature and is a threat to the communities of Southern California.”
On July 30, 1991 he was sentenced to 42 years behind bars for that Topanga Canyon Attack, but he was released after serving 23 years, police said. That was eight months ago.
The parolee's release address was in the city of San Fernando, police said, but the officer we talked to said he more recently lived with a relative in Northeast L.A.
His victim was a 31-year-old acquaintance who told detectives that Sarapiglia lured her out at midnight under the ruse of helping him find his missing father.
She was hospitalized with a skull fracture and a punctured lung.
Sarapiglia is 5 feet, 11, 175 pounds with brown hair, brown eyes and a bushy mustache. As seen in the photo above, he has large tattoos on his back.
Anyone with information on his possible whereabouts was urged to call 911 or 1-877-527-3247.
UPDATE at 10:55 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 24: Sheriff's deputies say they found Sarapiglia hiding under a mattress in a Palmdale in the 36000 block of Auburn Court at 2:45 a.m.
The cops were checking out an audible burglar alarm when they found the fugitive, authorities said. Sarapiglia was with another man and both allegedly gave deputies fake names, sheriff's officials said.
Obviously, the cops eventually figured out who he was.
The LAPD issued a terse statement today:
Mr. Serapiglia was taken into custody by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department this morning in the Antelope Valley.