Transient accused of vicious attack on woman at San Mateo Caltrain station

AP Photo/Jeff ChiuCommuters board a Caltrain train at the Caltrain and Bay Area Rapid Transit station in Millbrae July 1.

The scratches on a 21-year-old transient's face led to his arrest in connection with an attack on a woman at the Caltrain station in San Mateo last weekend.

According to prosecutors, Fernando Chamale-Boch accosted the woman about 7 p.m. Sunday in the pedestrian underpass between the northbound and southbound platforms.

The victim went into the underpass in order to cross to the other side of the tracks when she reportedly saw the suspect lurking in a dimly-lit area.

She “immediately was fearful and turned back, but the defendant came up on her and grabbed her by the waist,” San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

The suspect covered the woman’s mouth with his hand in order to muffle her screams, and they fell to the ground as she resisted, Wagstaffe said.

“He pulled her six feet down the stairs as the victim violently resisted him, scratching and punching,” Wagstaffe said.

The woman managed to break free of the suspect and call police. Chamale-Boch was located later that evening with “scratches on his face,” prosecutors said.

The victim then reportedly identified Chamale-Boch as the attacker.

Chamale-Boch denied any attack. During his first court appearance Tuesday, he was assigned a public defender but did not enter a plea. His bail was set at $2 million and he remains in custody, Wagstaffe said.

He is scheduled to enter his plea on Nov. 5.

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