SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- An alleged stalker has been roaming the streets of San Francisco for months, targeting women - chasing, touching and even kissing them - but there hasn't been much action from the city. Now, the victims and the public are demanding the perpetrator be stopped for good.
San Francisco Chronicle reporter and columnist Heather Knight joined "Getting Answers" to talk about her report that claims the city missed its chance to intervene - and women are "paying for it."
Knight shared disturbing stories from several victims taking to social media about being assaulted and harassed by a man named Bill Gene Hobbs. The 33-year-old is not a stranger to the DA's office -- he has been arrested many times in San Francisco over the past few years on multiple offenses including grabbing a teen.
"He was arrested for following, stalking and grabbing a teenager on the streets of West Portal, grabbing them close to him saying, 'You're my angel, my perfect mate,'" Knight said. After the teen's call to 911, Hobbs was arrested and served a few months in jail. But, after a judge dismissed the case in the "interest of justice," Hobbs was sent back to Southern California for an auto theft warrant before returning back to San Francisco and assaulting more women, according to Knight.
"It was just on the streets often in broad daylight. People are just walking on errands to the gym, to work to their apartment after picking up groceries, very kind of mundane middle-of-the-day activities. And he just comes up to them, strikes up a conversation - oftentimes it's hitting on the women saying 'You're my soulmate. I love you. You're beautiful. How did you get this way?'" Knight said. "Sometimes it's kind of weirder, he told one woman running in the Panhandle that he was Jesus Christ."
The alleged stalker's target was not just assaulting women. Hobbs was recently also involved in a trespassing incident in the Marina District.
Knight said Hobbs entered a residence through an unlocked door, telling the male homeowner that he was moving in, acting like he was the new roommate.
"He brought his bike and backpack and talked like he just lived there. He had been exploring the bedrooms and had seen the family photos," Knight shared the horrifying experience of the homeowner. Hobbs even told police that he was Scott Peterson, a man famously known for killing his wife and unborn baby. After police arrested him for trespassing and giving false information, District Attorney Brooke Jenkins dropped the case again, "in the interest of justice" as he hadn't tampered with nor stolen anything from the residence.
After the incident, Knight said she talked to the San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaff for more insight. According to their office, Hobbs would easily have gotten four to six months in jail, just based on trespassing. Knight said with accounting for all of the stalking and assault accusations, that sentence would be much greater.
As more victims come forward accusing Hobbs of stalking and harassment, Knight shared the suspect's distinctive features that can help identify him:
Watch the full interview in the media player above.
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