A Navy commanding officer is accused of attempting to sexually assault a woman officer at her San Diego residence and was arrested while trying to flee the scene, according to new details released Tuesday by the San Diego police. 

Police allege that Cmdr. John Neuhart was arrested at around 3 a.m. while fleeing the residence of the alleged victim, a Navy junior officer, according to an internal report obtained by Navy Times. Neighbors heard screaming and a struggle inside the residence and called the authorities, according to a detailed account of the arrest released by San Diego Police Department.

The neighbor approached the San Diego house and called through the front door to ask the victim if she was OK. She replied no. He then shouted that he was calling the police and when they arrived, Neuhart bolted out the back door. He was arrested in a canyon behind the house, police said.

Neuhart has not been officially removed from his job commanding the Guam-based Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25 as of Tuesday, though that move is likely. 

Cmdr. Kevin Kennedy has been assigned to assume temporary command of HSC-25, said Cmdr. Jeannie Groeneveld, a spokeswoman for Naval Air Forces Pacific. Naval Criminal Investigative Service has launched its own investigation.

Neuhart has been released from jail after posting a $100,000 bail, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper.

According to a preliminary investigation by San Diego police, the night began at a downtown hotel bar. Neuhart was in town for a conference.

Neuhart and the alleged victim were acquaintances, the police report said, and they spoke for some time before the victim left to go home. As a policy, Navy Times does not identify alleged victims of sexual assault.

Neuhart accompanied the victim home, entered her house and allegedy attempted to sexually assault her.

"As the victim fought the suspect off, the neighbor came to her house in response to her scream," the report said. "Upon hearing the neighbor state that the police were coming, the suspect fled from the victim’s house and into a nearby canyon where he was taken into custody by responding officers."

The investigation identifies Neuhart as the suspected assaulter.

"He was identified as John Neuhart, a 39-year old White male who was booked into San Diego County Jail for one count of 664/261(A)(2) PC-Attempt Rape by Force and one count of 220(A)(1) PC- Assault With Intent to Rape," the report said.

An arraignment is slated for Wednesday.

Neuhart, callsign "Spike," joined the service in 2000 after graduating from Ohio State University and has over 2,100 hours flying Navy helicopters, according to his official bio. He has logged 36 combat missions in Iraq and has received the Strike Flight Air Medal, as well as other awards.

David B. Larter was the naval warfare reporter for Defense News.

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