A Richmond man is facing life in prison without the possibility of parole after investigators say he sexually assaulted a high school girl in Palo Alto along a jogging trail in March.
On Monday, NBC Bay Area learned how the girl’s quick thinking stopped a predator from harming her even more.
Suspect Eduardo Chavarria, 29, wrote an apology letter to the victim, saying in part, "I promise never to do that again."
During the attack on a trail near Tesla headquarters, Chavarria pulled the teen off the trail, threw her over his shoulder and took her into some nearby bushes, according to a police report. He then bound the victim's hands behind her back using duct tape and used the same tape to cover her entire face, the police report says.
Finally, Chavarria put a gun to the teen’s head and sexually assaulted her, telling her not to speak, "or he would shoot her," police said.
But the girl came up with the idea to repeatedly tell her attacker that she had an infection and needed medication, hoping it would stop him from going even further and raping her.
That’s when police say Chavarria untied the girl’s hands and fled. She later ran to another jogger on the trail for help.
Those who frequent the trail and the general area shocked to hear about the attack.
"I’ve never heard of anything like that happening here, especially in broad daylight," Aarthi Padmanavhan said.
"It was shocking, really shocking, because I walk every day here, and I’ve never seen any such people at all," Gopakumar Pillar said. "All are like, office-going people."
Police in the East Bay also are investigating Chavarria for a similar attack in Oakland weeks before the one in Palo Alto.
When investigators searched his home, they found a number of fake documents, such as a Social Security card and permanent resident card with Chavarria’s name on them.