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Police arrest man who committed sexual assaults on Centennial

Police hope to arrest man committing...

SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane Police have reportedly arrested the man who's been committing sexual assaults along the Centennial with the help of his bicycle.

On Wednesday, the suspect admitted on camera at a different news station that his sexually motivated assaults were impulsive acts he now regrets.

Police, however, say being remorseful won't keep this guy from being being held accountable for his actions.

Gonzaga University sounded the alarm about the series of sexual assaults.

Over the weekend, the school sent an email warning students about a guy working the Centennial Trail and Gonzaga's River Loop Trail.

“The short version is, he's going behind them and patting them on the behind,” said Corporal Shane Phillips, Spokane Police Department.

Witnesses say the suspect approached them on his bicycle and had peddled by before they knew what had happened.

“We started to get multiple calls to Crime Check reporting this type of activity,” said Phillips. “I know a good bulk of them were from Friday and then Saturday.”

The suspect was described as a white male with a medium build, sometimes wearing a rainbow-colored bandana.

However, before police could make an arrest, a guy named Jonathan Smith showed up at a local TV station and confessed to his crimes.

Detectives couldn't rely on Smith's confession alone to charge him, so they first had to gather other evidence and forward the case to the Prosecutor's office.

“It's unfortunate there were so many victims and so that's a lot of what the detective has been doing is sorting all that out right now,” said Phillips.

During his TV confession, Smith said he'd never do it again.

Spokane Police want to make sure.

“The simple fact is, people should be able to walk downtown, they should be able to walk through Gonzaga on the Centennial Trail and not be assaulted,” said Philips. “It's not right and it's something we're taking seriously.”

Investigators are also concerned about Smith's past.

In 2010, police at Eastern Washington University arrested Smith on a forcible indecent liberties charge for taking advantage of a woman who had drank too much during her 21st birthday.

During that 2010 incident, Smith also admitted and apologized for what he had done.
So they're not sure he's sincere about the sexual assaults that happened here over the weekend.


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