Alameda County D.A. charges man with rape, robbery

The Alameda County District Attorney’s office has charged a 20-year-old man with rape, attempted rape and multiple other charges after Oakland poilce arrested him late last month, authorities said Wednesday.

Isaiah Lawrence was in custody Wednesday night without bail at Santa Rita Jail and facing a plea hearing Jan. 11 at Dublin’s East County Hall of Justice, according to a county records check. Oakland police arrested him shortly after noon Nov. 30 in the city’s Adams Point neighborhood.

According to probable cause documents shared by the district attorney’s office, a woman returning home got off a bus July 8 at Oakland’s Uptown Transit Center and began walking west along Thomas L. Berkley Way.

Police say after the woman crossed Telegraph Avenue, a man later identified as Lawrence approached her from behind and offering pickup lines, which she ignored. Moments later, Lawrence began grabbing her waist from behind, and according to authorities when the woman told him repeatedly to stop, he responded “Let me hit that!”

“The victim understood the statement as [Lawrence] wanting to have sexual intercourse with her,” an Oakland police officer wrote in documents, before he let her go.

Authorities say when she got clear of him, she began calling police on her cell phone and ran away from Lawrence as he challenged her, saying “Oh, you’re calling on me now?”

On Nov. 30, authorities say another woman was walking along the edge of the Grand Lake neighborhood around 9:15 a.m. when authorities say Lawrence approached from behind, pushed a gun barrel into her back and marched her to the passenger seat of a white Prius.

After yanking her fanny pack with her cell phone and cash inside off her and tossing it in the vehicle’s back, authorities say Lawrence drove to a different address before raping the woman. Police say he then drove to a bank in the city’s Lakeshore Avenue business district, ordering her to withdraw all of her funds from an automated-teller machine.

When the woman was unable to do so, police say she managed to flee into the bank begging for help, and Lawrence drove away without getting any cash.

Minutes later, authorities say Lawrence approached a 33-year-old woman and pointed a gun at her before trying to take her phone. After finding the woman wasn’t carrying any valuables, Lawrence assaulted and tried to assault and rape her. He managed to pull her pants and his down, but fled after a neighbor saw them and began yelling at him to stop.

Shortly before noon, police officers responding to the reported incidents took Lawrence and another man into custody, also recovering a firearm.

Officers arrested Lawrence on suspicion of kidnapping to commit robbery or a sex crime, second-degree robbery and attempted second-degree robbery, assault and forcible rape, with multiple special allegations related to sexual offenses and personal use of a firearm.

On Dec. 3, the woman in the July incident was able to identify Lawrence in a double-blind photo lineup, authorities said.

In a separate statement, Oakland police said its special-victims unit was investigating several incidents within the last month and this month where women had been assaulted near Lake Merritt and downtown Oakland.

Although they said a suspect had been arrested, anyone with information may call the unit at 510-238-3641.

Contact George Kelly at 408-859-5180.

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