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Violent, Paroled Rapist on the Run: Police

Joseph Serapiglia cut off his GPS device and hasn't been seen since Friday, police said.



    Paroled Rapist on the Loose

    A violent rapist on parole is believed to be hiding out in the San Fernando Valley. John Cádiz Klemack reports for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 23, 2014. (Published Tuesday, Dec. 23, 2014)

    A violent paroled rapist who was living in the San Fernando Valley in Southern California, cut off his GPS monitor and is evading police, officials warned Tuesday.

    Joseph Serapiglia, 43, has been living in San Fernando since April, but disappeared last week and police are asking for the public’s help to find him.

    Serapiglia was last seen Friday near Sepulveda and Roscoe boulevards in Panorama City. Since his release, Serapiglia wore a court-ordered GPS monitoring device, but he cut it off before disappearing, police said.

    "Those things aren't removed by accident.," LAPD Detective Meghan Aguilar said. "When they are taken off, it's deliberate."

    Police described Serapiglia as a "dangerous felon who has exhibited a violent nature and is a threat to the communities of Southern California."

    He was paroled after serving 23 years of a 42-year sentence for attempted murder and rape.

    One woman told NBC4 she rescued a woman once raped by Serapiglia about 23 years ago.

    "Out of the darkness we just heard her, pleading for help," Dana Vinson said. "And then she walked into some headlights and she looked like 'Carrie.' She was covered in blood from head to toe."

    Vinson said she found the woman at the top of Topanga Overlook in the San Fernando Valley about 23 years ago.

    "My perspective was that if I kept talking, she would stay alive," Vinson said. "As long as she's talking, she's breathing."

    Detectives said Serapiglia was 20 years old at the time, when he beat the woman, stabbed her six times, beat her again and tossed her body over a 25-foot embankment. The woman survived.

    Serapiglia has brown hair, brown eyes and a thick mustache. He is 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighs about 175 pounds.

    He also has several distinct tattoos on his back of two cars and ornate script. Police said they did not know whether Serapiglia had a lawyer, and that he likely did not attain one after being put on parole.

    Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective McPartland at 951-809-1647 or Officer Sanchez at 818-669-5511.

    Anonymous tips can be made by calling Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.