ONLY ON 7: Man accused of peeping with binoculars at Stanford University arrested

PALO ALTO, Calif. (KGO) -- Stanford University police issued a community alert after they arrested a man on campus accused of being in possession of weapons and peeping with binoculars.

He was arrested in the Searsville parking lot.

Police are investigating if this same man could be connected to another incident in the Maples parking lot, just a few miles away.

Replica guns, stun guns, knives, ammunition, metal knuckles, handcuffs and binoculars is what Stanford University Department of Public Safety says it found inside Mark Ofengenden's van on campus Saturday.

Someone contacted DPS about Ofengenden acting suspiciously and possibly using binoculars to look into a student residence.

"Suddenly police car stop here, another police car behind here," Ofengenden said.

Deputies arrested Ofengenden on possession of weapons and peeping charges.

"I'm absolutely not guilty," Ofengenden said.

A Department of Public Safety Spokesperson says Ofengenden consented to having his vehicle searched, a point he now disputes.

"They did not ask me any permission to search in my car," Ofengenden said.

Ofengenden says deputies confiscated most of his gear, but showed ABC7 News the US Army binoculars.

He says he was using them to read parking restriction signs not to peep on students.

"The drape was closed and I didn't even pay attention," Ofengenden said.

The side of Ofengenden's vehicle has a sticker that says protected by firearms and there's a shooting range target in the windshield.

Ofengenden says his vehicle has been broken into before and both are to keep that from happening again.

Stanford University notified students about the arrest with a community alert.

"I think part of me is comforted that an email went out in the first place to let people know, but obviously maybe someone doesn't always notice people like that," sophomore Madison Perna said.

"I think those notifications are super useful, but for me personally I've never felt unsafe," Luis Armona said.

Deputies are investigating if there's a connection between this incident and a similar one on campus a week ago.

The Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office told ABC7 News it has not received the arrest report yet and it could be on its way to the office for review.
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