A San Jose man who was arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting a woman in her own bedroom last week had been in custody just six days earlier on assault charges but was released by a judge.
Richard Hernandez, 25, faces felony charges of sexual battery, sexual assault with intent to commit rape and burglary after he attacked a 28-year-old woman in her home early Thursday morning, police said.
Six days earlier, a judge went against the wishes of prosecutors to keep Hernandez locked up on charges of assault with a deadly weapon after an attack with large sticks and rocks at a gas station.
Nilesh Bhadani, owner of the gas station, was shocked that Hernandez was even on the streets after what he did.
It was very scary to see him doing what he was trying to do," Bhadani said.
Bhadani has video of Hernandez holding wooden sticks and waving them around while he’s cussing at employees. He said Hernandez was upset they’d called the cops on him a few days earlier, claiming he was acting crazy. Hernandez even threw the wooden sticks at the employees.
Moments after he left the store, he returned with rocks, shattering the store windows, the video shows. The same employees held him down until police arrived.
Police arrested Hernandez on three counts of assault with a deadly weapon. In a court document, the prosecutor recommends Hernandez be held in jail. But another document shows the judge ordered him released on supervised own recognizance, meaning bail.
"I didn’t know the judge would do that, with what we’ve seen with the video," Bhadani said. "It showed you he shouldn’t be roaming around in the streets."
Six days later, police arrested Hernandez in the sexual assaulting of a woman in her home on Ironwood Drive.
"This sort of thing frustrates me," said Walt Hoskins, the woman's neighbor. "You should be safe in your own home. And the judge has a responsibility to protect us. He protects criminals more than he protects the citizens."
Court records show Hernandez has been in and out of mental health court for the past seven years.