SAN JOSE — Authorities on Tuesday morning arrested a convicted sex offender on suspicion of physically assaulting and trying to kidnap two young women in broad daylight last week.
David Lee Russell, 56, was apprehended at 9:36 a.m. near Charles Avenue and Oakland Road in North San Jose, said Sgt. Enrique Garcia, adding that numerous tips from the public were “instrumental in helping us achieve this goal in a quick and efficient manner.”
“It goes to show you how the simple concept of the community working with the police yields tremendous results,” Garcia added.
Police say Russell, a transient, assaulted and tried to kidnap women in separate cases Aug. 29 near Hamilton and Meridian avenues and Thursday near Hillsdale and Narvaez avenues. Both incidents occurred around 5 p.m.
Russell has an extensive criminal history, including convictions in 1989 for felony sexual battery and in 1992 for assault with intent to commit rape, sodomy or oral copulation, according to court documents.
And in 2008, Russell was convicted of failing to inform law enforcement of his new address, something sex offenders must do.
At the time, a public defender wrote a synopsis of Russell’s life and criminal history in order to obtain a more lenient sentence. From the late 1990s through 2005, Russell “became very successful in the home loan business,” the attorney wrote. “Unfortunately, when he was introduced to methamphetamine, his life began to spiral out of control.”
Russell, whose criminal history in Santa Clara County also includes misdemeanor charges related to alcohol and marijuana, served two stints in state prison, the most recent of which ended in 2013.
“He clearly didn’t learn his lesson,” Garcia said.
Garcia said Russell was expected to be booked into the Main Jail in San Jose on two counts of attempted kidnapping, two counts of attempted kidnapping to commit a sexual offense, two counts of assault with intent to commit a felony and a no-bail warrant for driving under the influence.
Russell, who was seen last week behind the wheel of a white, late-model Nissan Rogue with no license plates, was driving a silver Hyundai Sonata at the time of his arrest, said Garcia, adding that police are investigating the possibility the sedan was stolen.
Anyone with information about the case can leave a tip with Silicon Valley Crime Stoppers at 408-947-STOP (7867) or svcrimestoppers.org.
Contact Jason Green at 408-920-5006. Follow him at Twitter.com/JGreenMercNews.