KCBD INVESTIGATES: Ponce has lengthy history with crime

KCBD INVESTIGATES: Ponce has lengthy history with crime

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - A manhunt is underway for 27-year-old Thomas Lee Ponce, who police are calling extremely dangerous.

Ponce is wanted for aggravated sexual assault.

Law enforcement believes he abducted and sexually assaulted two women at random this week.

The KCBD Investigative Team searched through Ponce's records and found that in Lubbock alone, law enforcement agencies arrested him for nearly two dozen crimes.

The team extended the search and found additional arrests outside of Lubbock County.

"This very dangerous man is out there and he could attack someone else," Tiffany Pelt, with the Lubbock Police Department, said.

Pelt said Ponce is no stranger to their department.

"This individual has been arrested multiple times and we do have detectives who are familiar with him assisting in this case," Pelt said.

Knowing his past, Lubbock Police Chief Greg Stevens, warned the public in a Thursday news conference not to approach him.

"This is a very dangerous individual. He has a violent history to include other instances of kidnapping, assaults against family members, non-family members, child," Stevens said.

The KCBD Investigative Team checked Ponce's records and found six convictions out of the more than 20 charges.

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, Ponce pleaded guilty to assault causing bodily injury in September of 2010. Two years later, Ponce pleaded guilty to assault causing bodily injury to a family member.

Fast forward to 2014, that is when Ponce was convicted of possession of a controlled substance.

Later that year, he pleaded guilty to driving without a license with a previous conviction.

In April of this year, he pleaded guilty to burglary of a building and in January of this year, he pleaded guilty in a fraud case. The Lubbock County Sheriff's Office and the Lubbock Police Department believe Ponce is responsible for two sexual assaults this week.

"This is a very unusual case for our area and I think what is most disturbing about it is one there were two victims within such a short period of time and two they were random," Pelt said.

On Tuesday, around 4 a.m., the Lubbock County Sheriff's Office responded to a 911 call in northwest Lubbock near 4th Street and Farm Road 179. That is where a 33-year-old woman said a stranger attacked her.

"He kicked in the door of a young female, he sexually assaulted her and then took her to another location against her will. She was able to escape," Stevens said.

Later that evening, police said he sexually assaulted another victim at the Village at Overton Park.

"The same individual abducted a female in that apartment complex, forced her into that apartment, held her against her will for just over 12 hours and sexually assaulted her," Stevens said.

The police report states that Ponce was armed with a knife and blindfolded and bound the 20-year-old woman.

"He very well could be searching for another victim," Pelt said.

Which is why law enforcement said they are exhausting all of their resources to find him and are asking for the public's help.

"Someone out there knows something that could lead to his arrest," Pelt said.

The Lubbock Police Department and the Lubbock County Sheriff's Office have multiple units searching for Ponce.

If you have any information, please call Crimeline at 741-1000.

There is a $1,000 reward for information leading to Ponce's arrest.

Copyright 2017 KCBD. All rights reserved.