Man repeatedly accused of unlawfully entering nearby backyards, homes
THE SANTA CLARA
October 2, 2014
Several Santa Clara students living off campus claim that somebody has been trespassing on their residences.
John Joseph Torres Gonzalez, a Mountain View resident, has allegedly been trespassing on off-campus student homes since last school year. Students reported this man to the Office of Student Life in September.
“Multiple households came in and reported incidents of the same person following people and entering backyards and homes,” said Kimberly Gilkey-Wall, assistant dean for off-campus student life.
Junior Chloe Fryman said that during the week before the start of fall quarter, she left her garage open and took a nap. When she woke up, Fryman’s friends informed her that they had seen Gonzalez walk around her property and enter the garage to steal a bottle of juice from the fridge.
“My car was parked right in the driveway and my keys were sitting on our center island so it would have been very easy for him to take the car,” Fryman said.
Fryman also said that last year her friends told her that they had seen Gonzalez walking through her backyard.
Gonzalez has also been seen entering house parties, where he reportedly steals items and tries to “creepily” hit on women, according to junior Adrian Hinojosa. Hinojosa also said he saw Gonzalez in front of his house last week, and that Gonzalez was looking into his house in an attempt to “scope it out.”
Off-campus resident and junior Will Grant said that last year Gonzalez allegedly entered the backyard of Grove House, his former residence, and lit the fire pit.
“One night me and my housemates came home from practice, and we realized the fire was on in our backyard, and we saw this guy sitting there with the fire,” Grant said.
According to Grant, Gonzalez often wears a heavy trench coat and has a buzzed head. Several students said Gonzalez is often seen carrying bottles of alcohol. Senior Emily Collins said Gonzalez followed her around off-campus streets at the beginning of this year.
“Around 10 p.m. one night, he was standing on the corner of Alviso and Bellomy with no shirt on and he had 2 bottles of alcohol in his hands,” said Collins. “He seemed so off to me and when I walked past him, he started walking forward and getting really close to me and saying things to me. He followed me to the Bellomy Apartments, and it was almost as if he was singing something.”
After hearing stories from her peers about Gonzalez and being followed by him, Collins compiled a list of stories alleged by students about Gonzalez’s actions over the past few months. Collins gave it to the Office of Student Life, and her list was passed onto the Santa Clara Police Department. She said she also gave a copy of the suspected assailant’s ID to Campus Safety Services.
“My friend currently has his ID because (Gonzalez) was naked in (my friend’s) driveway, and when he was running away he dropped it,” Collins said.
Collins said she is worried that Gonzalez is dangerous to students because he seems to be under the influence of drugs. “My concern is that he is going to do something to a student and by that time it will be too late for the police to take action,” Collins said.
According to Lieutenant Kurt Clarke, an SCPD spokesperson, Gonzalez was arrested in Santa Clara on Sept. 22 for being under the influence of a controlled substance and on Sept. 24 for the same offense.
Gonzalez is set to appear in court on Oct. 16 at the Palo Alto Superior Court, and will appear in court at the San Jose Hall of Justice on Nov. 3, Nov. 6 and Nov. 10, according to the Santa Clara Superior Court’s Office.
Contact Sophie Mattson at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (408) 554-4852.