HANFORD, Calif. -- Police in Central California have arrested a man accused of raping his 16-year-old girlfriend and beating her with a tire iron over the course of five days.
Hanford police say 19-year-old Eddie Perez was taken into custody on Saturday night.
Sgt. Justin Vallin says the girl's family reported that she had run away about two weeks ago from Avenal. Investigators believe she was with Perez, but the relationship turned violent when he accused her of cheating on him several days ago.
"She was forced to have sex with him. She was bound at the hands. She was forced to stay inside the car and use the restroom inside the car for the last four to five days," said Vallin.
Vallin says Perez held the girl in his car, but she was able to signal a passerby for help on Friday afternoon while he was away.
Albert Martinez was that first person to find the 16-year-old victim. It's an image Martinez says is seared into his memory.
"Her face was really bruised. She was having a very hard time looking at who she was talking to. She couldn't really put a focus on me. Her eyes, she couldn't really open," he said.
Martinez lives in the apartment complex where the victim was found captive in a car. The witness says he heard screaming Friday afternoon and ran downstairs to find the girl barely conscious.
"I wasn't sure what the situation was, so I did slowly approach the car. She asked if she could use a phone, so I asked her what the situation was. She was really panicked, and crying and really scared," said Martinez.
The victim was taken to the hospital in stable condition.
Investigators were knocking on doors all Saturday, seeing if anyone had seen Perez. They eventually found him just around the corner from where the victim was located.
Perez is now facing a list of charges including false imprisonment, kidnapping, rape, and torture.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Man allegedly raped teen girlfriend over 5 days, beat her with tire iron