Trail attack suspect faces kidnapping, assault charges | May 3, 2019 | Mountain View Voice | Mountain View Online |

Mountain View Voice

News - May 3, 2019

Trail attack suspect faces kidnapping, assault charges

Woman on Stevens Creek Trail says she fought back, bit attacker's hand

by Kevin Forestieri

A 29-year-old man accused of brutally attacking a woman on Stevens Creek Trail in late February is facing four felony charges including kidnapping and assault with intent to rape, according to court documents. He remains in custody without bail.

Michael Wendy Adonis is accused of attacking a Boston woman who was visiting Mountain View on Stevens Creek Trail near Creekside Park in the Whisman neighborhood on Feb 25. She reported being struck multiple times in the face, suffering cuts to both sides of her face, her nose, eyes and mouth, and her attacker allegedly attempted to pull down her pants.

Adonis, described by police as a French national who resides in a home on Santa Clara Avenue in Mountain View, was arrested four days later during a separate domestic violence incident involving his female roommate. Along with his physical appearance matching that of the suspect in the attack, officers found he had injuries on his hands closely resembling bite marks left by the victim during the attack.

The victim told police that she was in the area on a work-related trip, and traveled to downtown Mountain View for dinner and yoga on Feb. 25 before heading home on foot. An unspecified Google app had directed her to travel north on Castro Street across Central Expressway before heading north on Santa Rosa Avenue, Central Avenue and eventually east onto Stevens Creek Trail, she told police.

While walking, the victim said she repeatedly felt as though she was being followed, and at one point pretended to make a phone call to dissuade a potential stalker, according to court documents. Despite feeling uneasy about the poor lighting on the creek trail and considering calling for a ride, she saw others using the trail and felt it would be safe.

Surveillance footage from a home security camera facing Santa Rosa Avenue shows the victim traveling quickly and looking back, followed by a possible suspect behind her about 20 seconds later, police said in an investigative report.

The victim said she spotted Adonis following her about 10 feet away on the creek trail near the Highway 85 overpass. He asked whether the victim had a boyfriend and if they could be "friends," shortly before he grabbed her and dragged her behind a nearby utility box. Adonis allegedly wrestled the phone from the victim's hand as she attempted to call 911, repeatedly punched her in the face and tried to muffle her screams with his hands. She told police she fought back and bit the suspect's left finger "down to the bone" during the altercation.

Adonis allegedly ceased his attack when two people on the trail shouted at him, and reportedly left the area heading south. A police search of the area didn't find the suspect.

The attacker's bitten hand was a critical piece of information in finding a suspect, court documents show. After releasing information about the attack and asking for the public's help in finding the assailant, police followed up on reports of potential suspects, including an employee at a P.F. Changs and a transient on Crisanto Avenue, but neither had hand injuries matching the description.

Around 5 p.m. on March 1, police received reports of a domestic violence incident at the Santa Clara Avenue residence where Adonis had been staying for about a month, and had allegedly thrown a thermos at a female roommate and slapped her face. A police officer said he noticed that Adonis not only matched the physical description of the suspect, but also had a hunched posture similar to the suspect caught on video surveillance. While talking to Adonis, the officer noticed that he kept covering his right hand despite being otherwise highly expressive while speaking. After some persistence, Adonis revealed nearly a dozen scab marks on his hand, according to a statement by the officer.

"The injury consisted of approximately 11 scab marks," the officer wrote. "At least two of the marks appeared as if they could have been caused by bites. I could see the shape similar to that of molar marks on at least two of the scabs."

In a subsequent interview, police reported that Adonis had changed his story multiple times, at first stating his injury was from a "fall" and that he didn't remember when he fell. He said he slept through Monday and did not leave the house, then said he went out and got into a fight at a downtown nightclub on Castro Street — on a night when the club is closed.

"This was outstanding work on every level," Lt. Mike Canfield said in a statement shortly after the arrest. "The quick recognition by the patrol teams and the investigative work by detectives have removed a violent man from the streets and we will do all we can to ensure there is justice for the victim in this case."

Adonis faces felony charges of kidnapping with intent to commit robbery or rape; assault with intent to commit rape; assault with a deadly weapon or force likely to cause great bodily injury; and threatening to commit a crime with intent to terrorize. During the attack, Adonis allegedly told the victim he had a knife and attempted to pull down the victim's pants. Adonis also faces two misdemeanor charges of battery and unlawfully damaging or removing a wireless communication device.

His next court appearance was scheduled for Wednesday, May 1.

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