Las Cruces police arrested a man suspected of attacking a woman Wednesday afternoon shortly after befriending her.
Paul Gregory Wallace, 54, is charged with one third-degree felony count of assault with intent to commit a violent felony and a third-degree felony count of aggravated battery causing great bodily harm.
Las Cruces police investigators learned that about noon on Wednesday, March 6, Wallace met a woman at a local Walgreen’s store. The two struck up a conversation about marijuana and then went to her home, on West Picacho Avenue, where they proceeded to smoke and drink alcohol. When a friend of the woman’s left the home, about 1:30 p.m., Wallace allegedly began making inappropriate sexual comments and threatened to cause harm to the woman.
Investigators believe Wallace then physically attacked the woman by strangling her, suffocated her by placing his hands over her face and attempted to remove her clothing. The woman told investigators she believes the attack lasted about four hours until she was able to flee the residence. A neighbor saw the woman, in distress, and called 911.
Police arrived to find Wallace locked inside the woman’s residence. Officers made entry into the residence and took him into custody.
Wallace was booked into the Dona Ana County Detention Center where he’s initially being held without bond.