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Man in random attack of woman arrested for 4th time in 3 weeks

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Ousmane Camara

Ousmane Camara

Salt Lake County Jail

SALT LAKE CITY — A man who Salt Lake police have arrested multiple times over the past month — including for a child kidnapping investigation — was arrested again Thursday night for allegedly attacking a woman at random.

Ousmane Camara, 28, of Salt Lake City, was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of kidnapping and assault.

A woman was walking on Redwood Road near 1000 South just after 10 p.m. when Camara ran across the street and hit her several times in the face, said Salt Lake police detective Greg Wilking. He then allegedly dragged the woman across Redwood Road to the parking lot of the African Market, 1878 S. Redwood.

People outside the market "observed what was occurring and stopped the abduction," according to a jail report.

Wilking said Camara then went inside the market and seemed to just wait for police to arrive. The woman was treated for "serious facial injuries" at a local hospital.

Thursday was not the first time police Salt Lake police have dealt with Camara allegedly displaying violent and erratic behavior. Wilking said police are frustrated that Camara was even on the street at all on Thursday.

"It's frustrating we continue to deal with the same individuals over and over again. We know that behaviors don't go away and people tend to escalate in acting out. So this is a concern for us," he said.

• On Wednesday morning, he was arrested and accused of trespassing, lewdness, drug possession and failing to stop for police.

Officers were called to the same area where Thursday's assault was reported and found Camara naked and "hitting the ground with his pants," according to a Salt Lake County Jail report.

Police said they told Camara to stop, but he continued to walk away from them into an abandoned building. Officers followed and arrested Camara inside. They also found his wallet which contained "a recent citation for trespassing and a ball of tinfoil with a crystal-like substance blue in color. The substance tested positive for meth," the report states.

After he was booked into jail, he was later released because of overcrowding, according to jail administration.

• On Aug. 17, Camara was arrested for investigation of child kidnapping. On that day, police were called to a brewery near 2100 S. Highland Drive where Camara had followed a couple and their 1-year-old child from the parking lot to the brewery, saying odd things as they walked, according to a report.

"(He) asked the couple if they got the child from the park, and … told the couple that they poisoned the child and that the child was actually (his) son," officers wrote.

The couple asked the brewery staff to call police. Camara then followed them inside the business and "touched the child's face, and then … attempted to take the child from one of the couple's arms as they were carrying the child. It was described that (Camara) attempted to pull the child from the couple's grasp without their permission," the report states.

Camara continued to tell police the child was his and even suggested doing a DNA test, according to the report.

Officers also noted that Camara was "seen by mental health professionals at a nearby hospital a few hours prior to being arrested, and again after being arrested," and that he "made numerous threats on a different case prior to being arrested."

Formal charges had not been filed in that case as of Friday, and Camara was given a pre-file release, according to the jail, meaning jail administrators are required to release a person after a certain amount of time if no charges or requests for extensions are filed.

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill said Friday that his office never received a screening packet from police, making it impossible for him to file charges. If the police report never makes it to prosecutors, charges can't be filed, he said.

As for inmates being released due to jail overcrowding, Gill said he shares the concern from the jail. "That is a resource issue, but we can’t file charges if the police officers don’t get us the police reports. People get released rightfully under our Constitution if people don’t follow through."

• On Sept. 1, Camara was charged with trespassing, a class B misdemeanor, for an Aug. 25 incident, according to court documents.

• On June 29 he was charged with battery, a class B misdemeanor, for an incident in April.