Suspect in woman beaten, stabbed case in custody

Dereck Esparza charged in unrelated burglary

PASADENA, Texas - A man suspected of accosting a woman at a gas station and beating and stabbing her in an abandoned warehouse has been arrested, investigators said.

Pasadena police said Dereck Esparza was arrested about 2 a.m. on Wednesday in connection with a burglary. Detectives said he went to his girlfriend's home after the two broke up and scattered her deceased mother's ashes around her bedroom.

Esparza has not yet been charged in connection with the woman's attack, but police said they've tied an item stolen in the attack to the burglary.

Investigators said the man approached a 51-year-old woman at the Conoco station in the 800 block of Queens Lane about 7 p.m. on March 21.

He forced the woman to go to an abandoned warehouse in the 900 block of Queens Lane, detectives said.

Police said the man tried to sexually assault the woman and pulled out a knife. The man cut the woman's throat, stabbed her twice and then severely beat her, investigators said.

The woman fought back and was able to run away from the warehouse. She was taken to a hospital and treated for her injuries.

Detectives said the man stole the woman's cellphone. Police said Esparza used that cellphone to call his girlfriend and told her what he had done to her apartment.

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