San Mateo police continue investigation into attack

Three weeks after an attempted sexual assault along La Selva Street, San Mateo police investigators are continuing the interview process with witnesses and asking for the public’s assistance for information that may lead to the discovery of a suspect.

On Aug. 23, an unidentified man grabbed a woman as she walked along La Selva Street at 8:45 p.m.

He forced her into some nearby foliage and attempted to sexually assault her, Lt. Mike Brunicardi said.

Another pedestrian in the area witnessed the attack and notified the police, scaring off the attacker, police said. The man then fled through a nearby carport.

There were several other people in the area, and officers have been interviewing potential witnesses since the day the attack occurred.

Police said they are following several leads that were uncovered from interviews with witnesses.

Officers have also continued to patrol the area, although not using the high number of officers that patrolled the region immediately following the attack, Brunicardi said.

“This is still a very high priority for us,” Brunicardi said. “We will continue to go out and interview and reinterview to get as much information as possible.”

Part of the department’s follow-up procedure to an incident such as this is to put the victim into contact with counseling agencies and keep her informed as to the status of the ongoing investigation.

“It’s all about helping the victim heal,” Brunicardi said. “One thing we’ve learned is that it’s important that the victim feels like there is some closure coming.”

The attacker has been described as a thin Hispanic male in his 20s or 30s, between 5 feet 3 inches tall and 5 feet 6 inches tall.

The attacker was described by witnesses to the incident as wearing a watch cap, a black jersey and shorts.

Anyone with information on the attack should contact San Mateo Police Investigations at (650) 522-7650 or the Secret Witness Line at (650) 522-7676.

The Secret Witness Line is completely anonymous and is checked daily by police officers.

jgoldman@examiner.com

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