A man accused of sexually assaulting a woman right after she unloaded items from her car in Palo Alto early Saturday morning was arrested Wednesday afternoon, police said.
The man, 28-year-old Daniel Eduardo Alvarez of East Palo Alto, allegedly committed the assault around 3:30 a.m. Saturday in the 2500 block of El Camino Real near Grant Avenue, according to a police press release. The woman, who is in her 30s, was removing items from her car to give to a friend at an apartment complex that morning. As she walked over to meet the friend she felt someone grab her buttocks.
She turned around to find a man who pushed her to the ground, landing on her back. The man straddled her, touched her genitals over her clothing and made threats if she yelled, according to police.
Her boyfriend who heard her screams went outside in the middle of the assault, after which point the man fled south on El Camino Real, police said. The boyfriend then alerted police to the attack.
On Sunday, detectives identified Alvarez as the alleged attacker and later that evening secured an arrest warrant for assault to commit a sex offense, criminal threats, false imprisonment and sexual battery. Their search for the man spanned several days through the Peninsula, culminating on Wednesday around 3:45 p.m. with help from Menlo Park police officers in East Palo Alto. They found his red 1993 Toyota Corolla empty in the 800 block of East Bayshore Road and found Alvarez nearby inside a home in the 1100 block of Saratoga Avenue.
Alvarez was arrested without incident and booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail in San Jose on the warrant, police said. He was also booked for an outstanding misdemeanor warrant for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in San Mateo County. He is being held without bail and will appear in court on Jan. 29.
The alleged assault came less than 10 days after one in the Southgate neighborhood, but detectives do not believe the cases are related. On Dec. 20, a man attacked a woman from behind as she walked in the 400 block of Miramonte Avenue, where he fled after neighbors heard her screams and came outside. An arrest was made in that incident two days later.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the department's 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to email@example.com or sent by text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through the police's free mobile app, downloadable at bit.ly/PAPD-AppStore or bit.ly/PAPD-GooglePlay.