SAN BERNARDINO - She was left bruised and broken on a deserted road last week as her kidnapper and rapist drove away in her car.

Just hours before, the 17-year-old Fontana girl had been gassing up her black Nissan Xterra with four friends when a man ran up - using his hands to simulate a handgun - and ordered everyone from the car.

She didn't move quickly enough. The man pushed her into the passenger seat and drove away, leaving her shocked friends behind. After raping her, the girl was abandoned in Temecula, authorities said.

A man identified as Jose Alvarado, 27, was arrested Wednesday afternoon after the girl's car was found in an alley two blocks from his home, police said. Forensic evidence linked him to the crime, they said.

"This was your daughter or my daughter going to a gas station to get gas," said San Bernardino police Lt. Scott Paterson. "She's just a sweet young lady and this guy ... I don't even have words to describe him."

Alvarado has no record. Police believe he has sexually assaulted other women and encourage victims to come forward.

The girl and her friends were sitting at a gas pump at a Valero station at 1933 W. Highland Ave. just before midnight last Friday

when Alvarado appeared from the darkness. It is unclear why he wanted the car, authorities say.

The Inland Regional Apprehension Team, comprised of police, FBI and San Bernardino County sheriff's deputies, found Alvarado outside his home on West 19th Street on Wednesday.

Alvarado tried to run, police said, leading them on a short chase. Police said he eventually confessed to raping the girl and was booked at West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga on suspicion of carjacking, kidnapping and sexual assault.

"End of story. Predator off the street," Paterson said, adding that several future assaults have probably been prevented with Alvarado's arrest.

This was the city's 22nd reported rape this year. There were 23 last year.

Investigators were trying to determine whether there is any link to a similar case in Highland.

A young woman was accosted by three men Wednesday when she returned home from a convenience store. One man took her year-old child, the other two forced her and her baby inside, where they raped the woman for 20 minutes before returning the babies, deputies said.

Sexual assault counselors say it's important for victims to report the crime because it empowers them and may prevent other women from being attacked.

"The only way that perpetrators really get away with this crime is the silence from their victims," said Nicole Richards, site coordinator for San Bernardino Sexual Assault Services.

"By breaking that silence, it's empowering for them because they're no longer holding onto this secret but it's sending a message to the perpetrator that this type of behavior will not be tolerated," she added.

Assault victims seeking counseling, support or just someone to talk to can call a 24-hour hot line at (909) 885-8884 or (800) 656-HOPE.

Anyone with information on the San Bernardino crime or any other rapes to which Alvarado may be linked are asked to call (909) 384-5615.

Contact writer Stacia Glenn at (909) 386-3887 or via e-mail at