A 27-year-old Newark man was arrested Friday afternoon after allegedly sexually assaulting two Menlo Park women at Ace Hardware, according to Menlo Park police.
The first victim, a 23-year-old Menlo Park woman, was shopping at the store at 700 Santa Cruz Ave. when the man approached her shortly before 12:30 p.m. July 3.
"He physically touched her intimate parts through the outside of her clothing, against her will, and for the purpose of sexual gratification," police said in a press release.
The man then approached the second victim, a 27-year-old Menlo Park woman who was in the checkout line, and rubbed his genitals through the outside of his clothing while he was inches away from her, police said.
The assailant then fled the area on foot. Multiple witnesses contacted police and provided descriptions of the man, who was located a few blocks away, police said. He was detained and positively identified at the scene by one of the victims.
The man was arrested on charges of sexual battery and lewd conduct in public. The San Mateo County Jail declined to accept him for booking due to the coronavirus pandemic, and he was issued a notice to appear and released.
Anyone with further information is asked to contact Sgt. Dennis Weber at (650) 330-6300.
Editor's note: It is The Almanac's policy to withhold the names of those arrested for most crimes until the District Attorney's Office has determined that there is sufficient evidence to file charges in the case.