Authorities arrested a 35-year-old man from South Bay on suspicion of him being involved in a bus stop kidnapping and rape. Police pulled over Valentino Manofo Tafilele of National City at around 4:45 AM on July 10. He was driving a late-model Jeep Cherokee.
They pulled him over at the 3500 block of University Avenue, which is a block east of the scene of the kidnapping. Tafilele is suspected of pulling a gun on a woman at a City Heights bus stop. Allegedly he then abducted and raped her.
Officers stopped his motor vehicle because it was similar to the one driven by the aforementioned assailant. It had a broken passenger’s-side taillight, which was described by the victim. He was allegedly in possession of a loaded firearm and a set of brass knuckles. Police arrested him, presumably for these apparent violations of weapons laws.
According to police, the actually abduction occurred around 4:30 AM on the previous Wednesday. As a tall and rather heavyset kidnapper, he did not seem to have much difficult forcing the 35-year-old victim into a light-colored vehicle. He apparently then drove her to a secluded spot and raped her. She was then set free.
Detectives were able to identify Tafilele, who is married with children. He apparently fits the description set forth by the victim in the case. Additionally, his vehicle fits the description of the SUV used in the abduction and subsequent rape. According to a police lieutenant, DNA comparisons are still pending. Evidence collected in this manner could be vital in either securing Tafilele's release or making further positive identifications with him in this particular case. DNA evidence has been important in a number of cases involving sexual assaults, and has been able to suggest guilt or innocence. Nevertheless, DNA fingerprinting is not a substitute for the skilled investigations that police put into these operations.
Tafilele was booked at San Diego Central Jail on suspicions of weapons violations, kidnapping and forcible rape. He is currently being held without bail, pending arrangement. That arrangement is scheduled for Friday afternoon.
This post was written by the Law Offices of Michael S. Berg. Head over to our gun crimes page at http://sandiego.criminallaw.com/gun-crimes to learn more about how Michael can help when you're in trouble, or simply contact us at (619) 239-2186.