San Jose

San Jose Police Arrest Convicted Sex Offender on Suspicion of Two Recent Kidnapping Attempts

San Jose police on Tuesday nabbed a convicted sex offender, who is accused of physically assaulting and attempting to kidnap two young women within the last 10 days.

For the past couple of days, police sought the public's help in locating David Lee Russell. On Tuesday, they got the help they needed, as numerous residents reported seeing the 56-year-old near Oakland Road and Charles Avenue, where police eventually arrested him.

"This is an example of the community working together with the police, how we quickly and efficiently take someone off the streets especially someone as dangerous as this guy we were looking for," police spokesman Sgt. Enrique Garcia said.

Russell, who police said is homeless and often stays in San Jose, is accused of attacking two young women and attempting to abduct them. The first incident, dated Aug. 29, occurred near Meridian and Hamilton avenues, and the second, on Sept. 1, was in the area of Hillsdale and Narvaez avenues, according to police.

According to the California Department of Corrections, Rusell is a "second striker" and a "repeat customer" in the prison system, spokesman Bill Sessa said.

He was sentenced in 1992 to four years in prison after being convicted of assault with intent to commit a sexual act and was discharged in August 1995, records show. He was sentenced against in July 2008 to four years on the same charge, along with two years for false imprisonment, three years for sexual battery and failure to register as a sex offender. He was discharged from prison in July 2013, and discharged from parole in March.

Russell had shaved his mustache and goatee, but the public wasn't fooled. Willow Glen resident Jessica Staley did her share to track down Russell.

"I shared the story on Facebook, shared the story on my Instagram, and I had a lot of family members and friends reach out to me because I live in Willow Glen, just making me aware of the situation, showing a picture of the gentleman," Staley said.

In a news release, police described Russell, whose rap sheet includes violent assaults against women, as "extremely dangerous."

Ellie Wronski is pleased the alleged attacker is off the streets of her neighborhood, but what happened near her South San Jose home will stay with her.

"I think this is a safe place," she said. "I live right down the street, but I think that things like that happen and make me scared."

Russell was booked into the Santa Clara County Jail on two counts each of attempted kidnapping, attempted kidnapping to commit a sexual offense and assault with intent to commit a felony.

Driving a silver Hyundai Sonata, Russell also faces charges for an outstanding no-bail warrant for driving under the influence, a misdemeanor.

People with information about Russell can contact Detective Michael White at (408) 277-4166. Those who wish to remain anonymous can call the Crime Stoppers Tip Line at 408) 947-7867.

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