The Santa Clara Police Department (SCPD) is working with the Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety (DPS) to try and catch a man who has sexually assaulted women in both cities.
The departments released a sketch of the man in a joint press release. They say he is a Hispanic or White man in his 20’s or 30’s. He is between 5’3” and 5’8” tall with a slim to medium build. He has short black hair that is sometimes spiked.
Investigators say a man matching this description has attacked multiple women between Apr. 30, 2018 and Jan. 10, 2019. All of the attacks happened in the evening, between 6:50 p.m. and 9 p.m. Most of them happened in the area surrounding Raynor Park in Sunnyvale. In all instances, the women were walking alone and were groped by the man.
SCPD Lt. Todd Cummins says a man matching the same description attacked a woman about a half mile away, in the area of Benton Street and Water Bird Way in Santa Clara. The woman in that case was also groped.
Cummins says sometimes runners, joggers and walkers can get preoccupied with their physical activity, however, they should be more alert to their surroundings.
“Particularly if running, jogging or walking alone, don’t wear earphones,” said Cummins. “Vary your route and pattern of running, jogging or walking. Carry a whistle or personal alarm device.”
Cummins says it’s always best to walk with a companion and you should choose a route that’s in a familiar area. You want to avoid areas that are poorly lighted or secluded and try not to go after dark. You also want to wear bright colored clothing to improve your visibility.
“If [you are] followed, go to the nearest residence, open business or group of people,” said Cummins. “Don’t hesitate to call 911.”
Sunnyvale investigators say since releasing the sketch they have received a number of tips and leads.
Detectives are asking people to come forward if they think they have witnessed the assaults or were a victim of a similar attack. They are also looking for people with surveillance cameras in the neighborhoods involved.
If you have any information involving these cases or surveillance video, you are asked to contact Sunnyvale DPS Detective Ben Holt at (408) 730-7143 or firstname.lastname@example.org.