Man arrested in connection with sex assault case in San Francisco park 

Police arrested a man Monday night in connection with an alleged broad-daylight sexual assault Friday against a 38-year-old female jogger at Sunnydale’s Crocker Amazon Park.

Inspector Sidney Laws of the Police Department’s sex crimes unit said it was a rare instance in which the victim did not know the suspect. An 18-year-old Sunnydale man named Xavier Neal was arrested on suspicion of sexual assault and kidnapping. The District Attorney’s Office has yet to file official charges.

Laws said the sexual assault, which did not rise to the level of rape, occurred on the running trails on the east side of the park. California penal code defines rape as an “act of intercourse” with a nonconsenting victim.

According to police, the woman was grabbed from behind and forced into a grassy area from a spot near the basketball court and soccer fields when she was assaulted. Her car was parked in the lot on the east side of the grounds, Laws said.



“She’s relieved that the suspect was found, but obviously still traumatized and upset by the experience,” Laws said.

Police said the woman might have scratched the suspect on the right forearm while defending herself. The attacker then fled on foot toward Brookdale Avenue heading into the public housing development there, police said.

Laws said information from a citizen proved pivotal in arresting Neal, who was taken into custody with the help of officers from the Ingleside Police Station.

Monica Healy, the campaign director for the Team In Training network, said her organization doesn’t necessarily have a policy on running alone, but group activity is encouraged partly for safety reasons.

“We have definitely encouraged safety in numbers,” Healy said.

dschreiber@sfexaminer.com

Staff Writer Mike Aldax contributed to this report.

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