South Bay Serial Trail Groper Deemed Harmless

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Kris Sanchez

    After months of undercover work, police in San Jose have found the man suspected of groping women on a popular trail, a police spokesman said Wednesday.

    On Sunday, police received reports of a person on the Saratoga Creek Trail matching the suspect's description, spokesman Dirk Parsons said.

    After a nearby officer contacted the man, a 29-year-old Cupertino resident, Parsons said police determined he was not a predator. He is a developmentally disabled man who Parsons said police believe does not pose a threat to the community.

    "When they described to him the reactions of the women who he had touched, he didn't realize the gravity of his actions," Parsons said.

    In each case a female victim was followed or harassed by a man while jogging along the trail. In some cases, the man grabbed or wrapped his arms around a victim's legs. In all cases, the man immediately fled after the victims resisted and called for help.

    Although the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office filed a single count of misdemeanor battery against the man, it is not seeking a jail sentence.

    The most recent incident on the trail along the Saratoga Creek Trail was reported in May, though San Jose police reported that attacks happened on the trail between Bollinger Road and Doyle Road going back to October 2009. The incidents apparently occurred between 7:30 and 10 a.m.

    Parsons said that while public safety is paramount in the treatment of the case, the Police Department is more concerned with getting the man "any possible assistance that he may need" rather than time behind  bars.

    "You just don't put somebody like that in handcuffs and take them to jail," Parsons said. "Who does that serve?"

    Bay City News