'I WAS HAPPY': Kidnapping victim relieved 22-year-old attack suspect behind bars

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A 22-year-old is behind bars after being charged with attacks on women, ranging from attempted kidnapping to sexual assault.

Howard Junius Dixon was arrested Tuesday when a DPS trooper spotted his vehicle, which was wanted in connection with four cases across Harris and Montgomery counties, including the one that left Luz Baena battered and bruised. Wednesday, she was relieved after learning of his arrest.

"I was happy, happy, happy because that person, he's in jail. He don't do more things for a long time," said Baena.

Baena also told Eyewitness News when investigators showed her Dixon's picture, it was his eyes she remembered.

"When I looked in his eyes, I feel it in my heart," she added.

Dixon is charged with attempted kidnapping and aggravated kidnapping in Harris County. He is also charged in Montgomery County with sexual assault and aggravated sexual assault.

"We saw the elevation in the aggressive nature of our suspect, and we believed that he was going to take it further and further. And I believe that without having this man in custody right now we very possibly could have had a homicide," said Lt. Jeff Stauber with the Harris County Sheriff's Office.

The Harris County Sheriff's Office says the crime spree began Saturday in the 900 block of North Vista in north Harris County.

There, a 19-year-old woman was walking down the sidewalk when detectives say Dixon grabbed her and tried to pull her to his Toyota sedan.

A trash collection crew from Texas Pride Collection drove up to the scene, witnessed Dixon grabbing and beating the teenager and scared him off.

The teen was treated and released for minor injuries, detectives said.

About 10 minutes later, Dixon found Baena in the same neighborhood. Investigators said he knocked her off her bicycle, and was able to get her into his car.

Baena has a broken cheek bone, and is covered in cuts and bruises from escaping Dixon's car. She was dragged for several feet.

On Sunday, Dixon moved to Montgomery County where deputies say he coerced two more women into his car.

Detective Michael Lee said they both happened around the I-45 Rayford Road corridor.

The first was at an apartment complex where they say he got a woman into his car, then sexually assaulted her.

Less than three hours later, he allegedly got another woman in his car, strangled her, and sexually assaulted her.

"He would offer people rides, 'Hey do you want to wait with me?' Things of that nature. And people's trust in the good intentions that they might have perceived at the time is what ultimately led to their victimization," Lee said.

Investigators say he used the same tactic each time, trying to gain the trust of the victims in order to get them into his car.

"He would approach very nicely, try to have a conversation. Lady's walking down the street, 'Hey can I give you a ride?' Just engage in normal conversation with these ladies and get comfort with them and then when he felt the opportunity was right, he would grab them and taken them to the car," Harris Co. Deputy Wallace Wyatt said.

Detectives believe there may be other victims. They urge them to call the Harris County Sheriff's Office to come forward.

Dixon is currently in the Montgomery County jail with bond set at $300,000.

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