Newark man targeted 6 East Bay women for alleged kidnap, rape, police say

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. (KGO) -- Matt Caruso, a 37-year-old man from Newark, is being held on $1,100,000 bail for allegedly assaulting a Walnut Creek woman, and with the intent to kidnap and rape five other women.

Walnut Creek police say Caruso allegedly targeted all six women, who are all former co-workers and live in the East Bay.

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The first woman, whose identity hasn't been released, was attacked with a stun gun on March 26 just after 7 a.m. as she walked to her car before work.

Mitchell Stern lives next to the victim, who he describes as a woman in her 30s, at the Camelback South Apartments in a quiet part of Walnut Creek.

He heard the woman being attacked, but couldn't make out exactly what was happening.

"It was a very high-pitched steady scream. I heard, what I thought was geese migrating. But it turned out to be my neighbor calling for help," explains Stern. "And honestly, had I heard one word, had I heard 'Help!' or 'Fire!,' anything, I would have come out and intervened."

Police say the victim was able to fight off the suspect and then took off running.

The suspect fled the scene, but later in the day, a maintenance worker found a box in a dumpster at an apartment complex in Fremont. Police says it was filled with items that were part of an alleged rape kit.

"A rape and kidnapping kit, which included ties and bondage, stun gun, disguises as well as the information of where his victims lived," says Lt. Cashion.

He says Caruso also allegedly conducted surveillance on his victims and wrote out his plans, which Cashion described as "grotesque and sickening."

"This is someone who is stalking their prey in order to do some heinous activities to them," says Lt. Cashion.

In the box found at the Fremont apartment, police also found receipts to a nearby Walmart. They used surveillance video from the store to identify Caruso.

During a search of Caruso's house in Newark, police found guns and child pornography.

Neighbors who knew Caruso from Newark described him as a "nice man," who never got into any trouble.

One neighbor, who didn't want to be identified, says he is shocked and disgusted to hear of the charges.

"I hope that's not true. But it is quite shocking. You would think that people have more respect for human life, and woman in general," he says.

Police are also investigating a bag found during their investigation.

"Was his intent to use the bag in order to move them around from one location to another? Or, was it to murder them," says Lt. Cashion.

Caruso was charged with attempted kidnapping, assault with intent to rape and possession of child pornography. His arraignment is set for April 9.
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