Deputies investigate attempted groping of female student jogging near campus

April 1, 2021 — by Selina Chen

School officials are reviewing security camera footage in an effort to get leads on an attempted groping of a female student who was jogging near campus around 5:30 p.m. on March 26. 

The student was described as being safe after the incident, and no suspects have been arrested. 

Principal Greg Louie sent an email detailing the incident later that evening. In the email, Louie said that the victim had been jogging on Herriman Avenue around Jerries Drive when “a white, family style minivan with 3-5 male teenagers approached. One of the male individuals exited the van and attempted to grope the female student.”

According to sheriff’s deputy Marie Molnar, the school’s resources officer, the incident is being investigated. However, she said much of the information must be kept confidential because the investigation is ongoing as of April 1.

On the school’s part, assistant principal Brian Thompson is working with the technology team to pull up security camera footage of the parking lot for that date and time.

Thompson could not talk about the exact location and coverage of the cameras on campus, but he said that there are a total of over 50 cameras monitoring all entrances and exits across the school. While the footage may not have enough clarity to identify the minivans’ license plates, it could help discern the model of the vehicle if the minivan was on campus earlier that day.

The victim declined to comment until a later time.

At this point, the sheriff’s office does not have any special advice for residents because such incidents are rare in the area, Molnar said.

“It was definitely a random attack, but our deputies are very vigilant and are continuing to do patrols in the area,” she said. “Saratoga is a safe community, so there is no need for people to panic, although we also would like to tell residents to be on the lookout for anything suspicious.”

To prevent similar incidents, Thompson urges students to be aware of their surroundings both on and off campus and “avoid getting lost in the world of electronics.” Additionally, he recommends students walk with partners in public venues as a precaution.

“Safety on campus is our job as educators, and we take it seriously,” he said.

 

Note: Please contact deputy Stockholm with any information on the case by calling the sheriff office’s non-emergency number: (408) 299-2311.