Published: June 27, 2013
A woman walking near Hillside Community Center who stopped when a man asked if she had a lighter was dragged by the hair into a nearby wooded area where she was choked and raped, according to an arrest warrant.
Mark Terry Garcia, 46, of Colorado Springs, was arrested on suspicion of sexual assault and remains jailed on a $500,000 bond.
The victim told police that the assailant ripped her clothes, struck her in the head and raped her until she was able to break free, crawl up a steep embankment and call out to a boy who was playing basketball at nearby courts, the affidavit said.
The attack happened about 2 p.m. June 19, as the victim walked west along Fountain Boulevard. She told police she was on her way to the Springs Rescue Food Bank on West Las Vegas Street to pick up food for her children, when a man asked if she had a lighter, the affidavit said.
A Hillside employee told police the woman's description matched a man he knew as "Marcus," who regularly rode a bicycle in the area.
Police went to Garcia's residence in the 800 block of Santa Fe Street, he affidavit stated, and Garcia denied sexually assaulting the woman.
The affidavit said he gave several version of the day's events, first saying he had approached a woman for a lighter, then saying he didn't remember whom he had spoken to. When he was arrested on June 21, detectives asked for the higher bond, "Due to the serious nature of this crime and the potential threat to the general public if this suspect is released."
"This was an extremely violent sexual assault perpetrated by a stranger near the Hillside Community Center during daylight hours with a number of children in the immediate area," Detective Grant Markwell stated in the affidavit.
Garcia's first court appearance is scheduled for Monday, according to court records.