Police say two registered sex offenders living in Mountain View have been targeted for attack in recent weeks, apparently by someone who wants to punish them for their crimes.
In the first incident, a sex offender's home was nearly set on fire by a Molotov cocktail on Oct. 19 before a passerby intervened. In the latest incident, on Nov. 6, a suspect broke into a sex offender's home and hit him several times on the head, causing moderate lacerations that required hospital treatment. In both instances, the attacker made it clear that he was targeting a sex offender, said police spokesperson Liz Wylie.
"He is attacking people because they are sex offenders, which is awful," Wylie said.
Sex offenders are easily tracked because their whereabouts are posted online by law enforcement agencies.
Police are not sure if the two incidents involve the same suspect, but the descriptions from each incident are similar. Police will be releasing a description soon.
Like most of the 80 registered sex offenders in the city, both of the sex offenders in these attacks had been convicted of crimes against children, Wylie said. Each crime happened more than 15 years ago and each of the sex offenders had been law abiding as of late, Wylie said.
Police have not ruled out that the suspect knew the victim in each crime, but the man who was physically beaten said he had "never seen the suspect before in his life and didn't know why he would attack him," Wylie said.
In both instances the suspect is described by police as about six feet tall, in his early 20s and wearing "all dark clothing, including a dark baseball cap." In the first incident he was described by the passerby as Hispanic and weighing about 175 pounds. But in the second the suspect is described as white.
Sex offenders are urged to report suspicious activity to the police at (650) 903-6344.
"Obviously we're concerned sex offenders will be hesitant to come forward," Wylie said. "But we want to encourage them. If anything is out of place, we really want them to call."