A 24-year-old man suspected of raping two prostitutes in separate incidents in October and earlier this month in Pleasanton was arrested in Oakland on Friday, police said.
Rashad Joshua Costello, of Oakland, was arrested Friday when detectives served a search and arrest warrant in Oakland with assistance from the East County Tactical Team, police said. On Oct. 6, Costello allegedly removed a handgun from his waistband and robbed a prostitute of her money and iPad then raped her during an arranged meeting at a Pleasanton motel, according to police. When the suspect left, the prostitute notified a nearby motel guest who then called police.
Costello was also identified as a suspect in a similar incident on Nov. 5, when officers responded to a report of a man armed with a gun at a local hotel around 2 p.m., police said. Officers spoke to a prostitute who said she arranged to meet with a man at the hotel to provide services. She said she was at first hesitant to open the hotel room door for the man but he spoke to her through the door and convinced her to unlock it. He forced his way in, struck her in the face by swinging the door, pulled out a handgun and threatened the her.
When she screamed he pistol-whipped her face and told her to “shut up,” according to police. He demanded her money and forced her to perform sexual acts at gunpoint, police said. The prostitute was able to escape from the room and ran to an adjacent room being cleaned by housekeeping staff that in turn called police.
The suspect fled the scene before officers arrived but police were able to recover a handgun they believe was used in the crime, police said. DNA evidence and evidence at Costello’s home linked him to both cases and the female victims identified him in a lineup, police said. Costello was arrested and booked into Santa Rita Jail on suspicion of forcible rape, robbery, forced oral copulation, assault with a deadly weapon, burglary, assault with intent to commit rape and criminal threats, police said. He had contacted the prostitutes through an online bulletin board seeking “escort” services, according to police. The prostitutes did not know him prior to the alleged incidents, police said.
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