Elizabeth Campos

Santa Rosa Man Arrested for Rape, Kidnapping at Howarth Park: Police

A 23-year-old man was arrested Thursday under suspicion of kidnapping and raping a woman at Howarth Park, police said.

Santa Rosa Police Department detectives said a witness saw the man, identified as Rusiate K. Waqa, at the park around the same time the sexual assault occurred the morning of August 16th.

The witness gave police a description and license plate of Waqa’s vehicle and he was interviewed shortly after.

During the interview with police, Waqa voluntarily gave proof of DNA obtained by a buccal swab process. At that time, detectives didn’t have enough evidence to arrest him.

Authorities continued the search for witnesses and received several tips from members of the public on their Santa Rosa Police Department tip line.

Finally, on Thursday August 29th, it was confirmed that Waqa’s DNA from the buccal swab process matched that of the suspect in the rape and kidnapping case at Howarth Park. Detectives then located and arrested the man on his way to his Santa Rosa home.

Waqa was booked at the Main Adult Detention Facility for rape and kidnapping with the intent to commit rape.

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