Attempted Rape on Long Branch; Suspect Arrested After Neighbors Chase Him Away

by on March 25, 2013 · 15 comments

in Ocean Beach

OB 4800 LongBranch attemrape

Screen capture of Ch 8 video of where assault occurred.

UPDATE:  Here’s an update from the online U-T today:

25-year-old man was arrested Sunday night after police said he beat and sexually assaulted a woman in Ocean Beach.   The victim was walking on Long Branch Avenue about 10:15 p.m. when the stranger ran up, grabbed her and attacked her, sex crimes Lt. Chuck Kaye said.

The woman fought with the man and screamed. Neighbors who heard her calls for help called police.   Officers located the suspect a short distance away near Robb Field and took him into custody.   He was returned to where the victim was being treated, and she positively identified him as her attacker.

 Kaye said Richard Butts was booked into jail on four charges including sex assault and kidnapping. He is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday.

He said detectives will look at open sex assault cases to see if Butts is a suspect in any other attacks. Kaye declined to disclose the age of the victim.

Channel 8 News reported that there was an attempted rape on the 4800 block of Long Branch Avenue in Ocean Beach.  The violent assault occurred on Sunday night – March 24th – when a male attacked a woman in her front yard.

Neighbors and witnesses came running to help her when the woman began screaming. The man ran off.

The suspect was then arrested by police near Robb Field and taken into custody.

The victim was taken to a hospital.  There is no identification of either the victim or suspect.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Jon March 25, 2013 at 11:01 am

Way to go alert neighbors! I hope the woman attacked is doing ok, and maybe they can connect this guy to the other assaults around town. I’m just so glad they caught him!


Dan Shay March 25, 2013 at 11:52 am

The UT is reporting the suspect’s name as Richard Butts aka Dick Butts.

The SD County Jail booked him around 5:30 AM this morning on 4 charges with no bail.


Frank Gormlie March 25, 2013 at 12:36 pm

Thanks Dan for the update; I’ve now included the U-T report in the text.


Catherine March 25, 2013 at 12:05 pm

I heard this woman screaming last night as I live very close by. I also heard neighbors respond to her and the police helicopter was circling the block in minutes. I was impressed with their response. I wonder how they figured out it was the guy? I heard her yell, “stop that man, he tried to .. . ” and that’s all I heard except the other neighbors voices.


Tyler March 25, 2013 at 12:17 pm

I’ll be interested to see if this man was an OB resident or from elsewhere. I found it somewhat interesting (although it kind of happens every year) that we had almost no issues with sexual assaults, etc during the quiet Winter months, and then, like clockwork, as March hits, another assault.


Brian March 25, 2013 at 4:52 pm

Always come to the aid of your neighbor if you hear any commotion! Good job Long Branch folks!


Frank Gormlie March 25, 2013 at 5:02 pm

According to the booking records at the Sheriff’s website, Richard Butts has 4 charges:



Debra March 26, 2013 at 3:11 pm

SO true Brian and Tyler. And–if you can get a dog. Especially women who live alone. I have read that a barking dog, even a small one is a huge crime deterrent. I have 3 small ones myself, and NO WAY would that guy have gotten within even inches of me, without all of them going crazy.


John March 27, 2013 at 7:04 am

I guess that means someone a few houses over must be getting raped at least 12 hours a day every day. Yap, yap, yap, hours on end. A “crime deterrent” is great for the owner, just remember you have neighbors who have to live with the noise. It’s usually only a problem when the dogs are left alone for long periods of time. Not condemning you or your suggestion, just saying there’s another side to that story.


Diana March 26, 2013 at 11:29 pm

I too heard this woman screaming & screaming, I live one street over, closer to Lucy’s & other bars, so I thought it was just kids or some drunks because it was still pretty early, 10:15pm, for this kind of thing to be happening (I thought). I feel really, really terrible now for not being more concerned that night & investigating when she was screaming. But honestly, after living here on the same street for 17 years you get used to the loudness of the bar noises, drunks fighting, ambulance & police sirens all night. And you become numb to & learn to ignore a lot of it & turn the TV up louder & Louder just to drown out the constant dogs barking incessantly, senseless car alarms going off, airplanes overhead, loud motorcycles speeding by, garbage trucks banging & Sea World Fireworks that sound like gunshots, otherwise you couldn’t sleep at all.


Dan Shay March 28, 2013 at 11:15 am

They set bail at $300k and his court date is 4/9/13 at 8:15 am at 220 W. Broadway Room 29.


mr.rick March 28, 2013 at 12:39 pm

Perhaps we need to revive “Blow the Whistle on Rape”. We can remember Mike Collins, the original OB Rapist.


Frank Gormlie March 29, 2013 at 10:09 am

Hey Mr Rick – we’re waiting on your T-shirt vote.


OB Mercy March 29, 2013 at 8:56 am

Hey all, want to let you know we’re having the first Ocean Beach Citizen’s Patrol meeting of 2013, this Tuesday, April 2, at 5 pm at Tower Two Cafe. We’re reaching out to ALL of OB, businesses, organizations, and locals to come in with FRESH ideas of how to curb all this crime, including all the drug dealing on the sea wall, in front of people’s residences, you know what I’m talking about. The police are NOT doing enough. But again, we don’t want to work against them either. You can NOT just gripe, you’ve GOT to take action!

I will be interviewed on U-T TV on Monday about our upcoming meeting and I will have with me one of the attempted rape victims who wants to get the word out too. PLEASE come to the meeting! We need community involvement!


Frank Gormlie March 29, 2013 at 10:09 am

Thanks OB Mercy – we’re planning on posting the announcement today.


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