When a 22-year-old woman was brutally beaten and raped just steps from Philadelphia Police Headquarters in 2010, detectives learned the name of her alleged attacker within days.

Startled by police sirens, the man fled the scene of the rape on the 200 block of North Eighth Street in only his underwear and a shirt - leaving behind enough evidence for police to quickly identify him as Alberto Issac Navarrete Suarez, lately of South Philadelphia.

But by then, police say, Suarez was already on the run.

The 37-year-old fled to West Virginia and then Texas, where he managed to elude law enforcement and escape to Mexico.

It was two more years before Suarez, a Mexican national who was in this country illegally, was arrested in Mexico City. It was two more before he was extradited to Philadelphia - Monday night - to face charges of attempted murder, rape and related offenses.

A Philadelphia police officer traveled with the FBI to Mexico City to personally handcuff him.

"He will never harm anybody again," said Lt. Anthony McFadden of the Special Victims Unit.

DNA evidence collected from the Philadelphia case matches that in a 2010 kidnapping and rape of a teenage girl near Pittsburgh, McFadden said. Suarez is also facing charges in that case. Police think he may have fled to Philadelphia afterward.

"He knew he was in trouble in Pittsburgh," McFadden said.

He said detectives worked quickly to find Suarez after the Philadelphia attack, which happened about 9:30 p.m. on Aug. 29, 2010. Police said Suarez grabbed a woman walking near Police Headquarters, dragged her to a spot near the Chinatown subway station, and assaulted her. She was beaten, choked, and knocked unconscious.

Fleeing the scene without pants or boots, Suarez was dubbed "the pantless rapist." A Mexican driver's license left at the scene turned out to be a fake.

But detectives found a camera at the scene with photos of Suarez that led them to his house in South Philadelphia, McFadden said. From there, investigators were pointed toward a phone chain that Suarez used to seek employment, McFadden said - and were able to track him to Texas.

Ed Hanko, the FBI special agent in charge of the Philadelphia office, said Philadelphia detectives did a "phenomenal job" tracing Suarez's route.

FBI agents were hunting for Suarez in Mexico City when he was arrested by Mexican authorities on April 19, 2012, Hanko said. Judicial delays complicated by Suarez's status as a Mexican citizen kept him in that country until now, Hanko said. Authorities could not find any official travel documents issued by the Mexican government for Suarez, police said.

So Suarez remained incarcerated there until Monday night, when he returned to Philadelphia on a commercial flight.

awhelan@philly.com

215-854-2961 @aubreyjwhelan