San Jose residents thankful sexual assault, robbery suspect is off streets

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The attack happened Tuesday morning at Harker Middle School in San Jose - a half-mile from where police say Andrew Bracamonte, 23, lived. (San Jose Police Department )

The attack happened Tuesday morning at Harker Middle School in San Jose - a half-mile from where police say Andrew Bracamonte, 23, lived.

RELATED: Suspect arrested in sexual assault, robbery of teacher at SJ middle school employee

It was on the campus field at Harker Middle School where investigators say they uncovered the victim's stolen cell phone as well as the suspect's Bennie. The scent led a police canine to the nearby neighborhood.

In a press conference Friday afternoon, San Jose Police chief Eddie Garcia said Bracamonte tried changing his appearance before he was arrested the night before in San Francisco. He even tried surrendering on his own terms.

"The suspect did not give the victim a choice," said Garcia. "We certainly were not going to allow this suspect to dictate how we were going to take him into custody."

Authorities say Bracamonte snuck onto the campus before classes started Tuesday just before 6:30 a.m. The suspect went inside a classroom, turned off the lights and locked the door before sexually assaulting a female teacher.

RELATED: Heavy security at SJ school after employee sexually assaulted

Surveillance video showing Bracamonte walking around the campus before and after the attack was critical in the investigation.

Hours after the attack, police said Bracamonte committed another crime at a Santa Clara liquor store. He was caught on surveillance video - which helped authorities identify him as their guy.

"I don't think anyone of us can imagine what that victim went through and just to be able to cooperate with the police and give us a detailed segment of the horror that she must have felt, I can't even put it into words," said Garcia.

"This was a senseless, heartbreaking crime and our entire community is grieving," said Brian Yager, head of Harker Middle School. "We are relieved that this criminal has been arrested, and hopeful that justice will be served."

Bracamonte is no stranger to law enforcement. He has been arrested on a number of charges in the past, including having sex with a minor but he was not registered as a sex offender.

RELATED: Suspect arrested in sexual assault, robbery of teacher at SJ middle school

Residents in the San Jose neighborhood say they're just thankful that the alleged predator is now off the streets.
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