Chiropractor, patient chase down suspect after alleged sex assault of woman at Long Beach office

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LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) — A man was chased down by a Long Beach chiropractor and one of his patients after the suspect allegedly sexually assaulted a woman in the chiropractor’s office earlier this week, according to authorities and surveillance video.

Ernesto Sanson, a 57-year-old homeless man, was arrested at the scene Monday afternoon in the 3700 block of East Anaheim Street, according to the Long Beach Police Department. He was booked on suspicion of sexual battery and vandalism.

Disturbing attack

According to the chiropractor, Dr. Corey Clements, the incident began around noon when the man walked into the office and asked if he could get a massage.

After asking to use the restroom, Sanson allegedly saw a female patient lying face-down as she was receiving therapy. He is accused of pulling down his pants and climbing on top of the victim, who could not see him due to the prone position she was in.

“Then he leaned over and put his face into her ear and started to talk to her, and she turned and that’s when she screamed,” said Clements. “I am still in disbelief that something like this could ever happen in the middle of the day with an office full of people. It would never cross my mind that this is a threat.”

Staff helps apprehend suspect

Clements said that he and members of his staff rushed to where the patient was.

“The staff member who first arrived there was in shock, seeing what he was doing,” the chiropractor said in a statement provided to ABC7. “She asked the man, ‘What are you doing?’ He panicked and jumped off her, tripping on the wires that were connected to the patient and fell down.”

The suspect then got up and ran, according to Clements.

“I came to her, and she was still screaming and in an enormous amount of distress,” the chiropractor said. “I asked her what happened, and she informed me a man was trying to rape her in the middle of a busy office.”

A man was chased down by a Long Beach chiropractor and a patient after the suspect allegedly sexually assaulted a woman in the chiropractor’s office.

Clements said he yelled out and asked if anyone in the office saw where Sanson went. Another patient responded, saying yes.

“I yelled, ‘Someone get him!'” the chiropractor said. “I ran out of the office and began to chase this pervert, along with the patient who spotted him, and we continued the chase.”

Sanson allegedly ran west on Anaheim Street and into incoming traffic in an effort to escape.

“We dodged oncoming cars and eventually we apprehended him and forced him back into the office,” Clements said. “I reentered the office and took him to a room the farthest from the victim,” telling another doctor to stand guard.

The detained man allegedly began to vandalize the room while yelling “I cannot go back to prison!”

“During the scuffle, he had ripped off a bar like … as a weapon, and he became hostile, and so we had to subdue him and during that, he’s saying, ‘I can’t go back to prison. I can’t go back to prison,'” recalled Clements.

The chiropractor said he and two other doctors entered the room and “had to use force to control his erratic behavior,” with the other two doctors sitting on the suspect until police arrived.

“The victim then had to go out and ID the perpetrator,” Clements said. “She was visibly sobbing and shaking from the trauma she had just endured.”

Surveillance video shows officers being led to the room and then escorting Sanson out of the office.

The Long Beach City Prosecutor’s Office says he pleaded guilty to sexual battery, a misdemeanor, and was sentenced to one year in Los Angeles County jail.

Increased security

Clements said he’s now adding outdoor lights and surveillance cameras to the exterior of the building and will no longer let anyone who is not a known patient use the restroom.

Meanwhile, residents were in shock to hear about the frightening encounter.

“I come to the chiropractor once a week, get my alignment, I used to do acupuncture here as well,” Long Beach resident Adam Hoang. “I’m coming into de-stress, get aligned. The last thing I want is for someone to come in and expose himself to me.”

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