CUPERTINO (CBS SF) – Nearly seven months after a legally blind woman was stalked and sexually assaulted in Cupertino, authorities announced an arrest in the case.
According to the Santa Clara Sheriff’s Office, officers arrested 29-year-old Bernard Mejia-Ortiz in San Mateo on a $40,000 arrest warrant Thursday. Detectives said an arrest was made following multiple tips from the public, which led to the identification of a vehicle linked to the suspect.READ MORE: Cyclist Struck By Driver In South San Jose Last Year Succumbs To Injuries
Mejia-Ortiz is accused of stalking and assaulting the victim, who was walking to her workplace near Stevens Creek Boulevard and Stelling Road on the afternoon of May 5.
Deputies said after the victim denied his advances, the suspect followed her into a nearby Target store, where he was captured on the store’s surveillance cameras from multiple angles.READ MORE: UPDATE: Police Shoot, Kill Armed Suspect Outside San Francisco Airport International Terminal; Bullet Hits Bystander
“He was able to follow her without her knowledge and follow her from a distance to keep an eye on her,” Deputy Russell Davis told KPIX 5 last month. “Pretty much he was stalking her.”
Davis said the victim left the Target store and was followed for a quarter mile by the suspect. In the parking lot, the suspect then grabbed the victim from behind and attacked her.
Following the assault, deputies said an eyewitness approached the suspect, who ran through the parking lot and later fled in his vehicle.
“In broad daylight, a legally blind victim, walking up to her and taking advantage of her is a very coward move,” Davis said.MORE NEWS: San Francisco Officials Crack Down On Illegal, Pop-Up COVID Testing Sites
According to deputies, Mejia-Ortiz was booked into the San Mateo County Jail on charges of sexual battery and false imprisonment. It was not immediately known when he would be moved to Santa Clara County to face charges.