Police have arrested a 24-year-old San Jose man they suspect of raping one woman and trying to rape another twice since August. George Kiriyama reports.
Most of us learned from an early age not to trust strangers.
"I would decline of course," Leila Velez said as she was shopping at the Plant Shopping Center in San Jose.
"It wouldn't be a wise decision. I don't know what would happen."
San Jose police investigators say 24-year old Ulysses Rios offered a 20 year old woman a ride on October 17 in the area of Blossom Hill Road and Snell Avenue.
She accepted and detectives say Rios took the woman to a remote area and then raped her.
Detectives say Rios then took the woman back to Blossom Hill and Snell where he dropped her off.
The victim called police and gave them Rios' license plate. But the 20-year old woman wasn't the only victim.
Police say in August on Monterey Road, Rios did the same thing. Investigators say he offered a 59 year old woman a ride. She accepted and detectives say Rios took her to a home where he tried to sexually assault her.
The woman was able to escape, but she didn't report it to police. Two months later, police say Rios attempted to pick her up again near Monterey Road and Curtner Avenue.
The victim recognized him and refused to go into the car. As the suspect was about to drive off, she tried to take a picture of his license plate. Investigators say Rios saw that and started punching her, trying to take her phone away.
Detectives say other people came to her assistance and Rios ran away.
Police say it was coincidence Rios and the victim met again.
"More than likely, it's just a case they both frequent the same areas and go to the same stores, utilize the same businesses and he saw her in the same area where he saw her the first time and again tried to get her to get into the car," Sgt. Jason Dwyer, a San Jose police spokesperson, said.
Officers arrested Rios after connecting him to a citation for urinating in public on October 17. He was also on probation for felony hit and run. "This is exactly what we don't want walking around our city," Sgt. Dwyer said. "This person is dangerous and he would have struck again absolutely."
Police also said they believe that Rios may have tried to rape other women in the past and encourage anyone with information about previous incidents to call the sexual assault investigations unit at (408) 277-4102.