Sex offender caught for chasing women in San Rafael

Monday, August 19, 2019
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A sex offender, recently released from jail, allegedly spent his Saturday morning running after women and away from police.

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. (KGO) -- A sex offender, recently released from jail, allegedly spent his Saturday morning running after women and away from police.

"He came and climbed here," said a restaurant employee, who did not want to be named, but showed an ABC7 crew the ladder at the back of the Taqueria on Fourth Street in San Rafael that Willie Jones climbed up Saturday morning.

Jones, who police say is a 39-year-old homeless resident of San Rafael, can be found on the Megan's Law website. Police say he was on the roof of the restaurant for two hours while police tried to coax him down.

"He was hiding from the police," said the Taqueria employee, who described Jones as having a wild look on his face while on the roof. "If you see his face, it's like a scary face. You think, oh my God, what's going on over here?"

The 9 a.m. standoff was the end of a long morning that started half a mile away on Laurel Place where a building manager called police at 6:45 a.m., believing that Jones was casing his apartment.

Ten minutes later, a woman called police. She said the same man chased her out of Boyd Park and ran after her for several blocks while she was walking her dog.

San Rafael Police showed up minutes later, but Jones ran away.

While he was running from police, three more women told police that Jones chased them through the streets of San Rafael, including one woman, on Irwin Street, who said she had to run to safety at her place of business where Jones allegedly followed her and pounded at the door.

Kate Larsen: "Do you think if he had caught up with the women, that he would have attacked them?"

Sgt. Justin Graham: "You know it's unknown, I would hope not, but in this particular case because of the unusual behavior, it was likely and that's why we took it so seriously and tried to get as many officers down to the area as possible."

Sgt. Justin Graham said Jones eventually came down off the Taqueria roof. He was booked into the Marin County Jail for stalking, resisting and fleeing a peace officer, false identification to a peace officer, trespassing, violation of probation and being out of compliance with sex offender registration terms.

Jones was released from jail on Aug. 9.

Police say he's a "high risk" sex offender. The Megan's Law website said his prior offense was "annoy or molest a child under 18."

"He's definitely somebody who's on our radar and we want to make sure stays in jail or at least is evaluated to figure out what's going on," said Sgt. Graham.

Sgt. Graham says Jones will be in court early this week.