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Man Accused of Kidnapping, Attempting to Rape Woman Near China Camp

At 10:45 p.m. Wednesday night, witnesses reported seeing a woman running down North San Pedro Road screaming for help.

Sheriff deputies arrested a local man accused of attempting to rape a woman after he picked her up in his van in the Canal neighborhood, according to Lt. Barry Heying.

Gerardo Mendoza, 33, was booked in early Thursday morning on suspicion of kidnapping and assault to commit rape. His bail is $100,000.

At approximately 10:45 p.m. on Wednesday a pair of witnesses reported seeing a woman running down North San Pedro Road screaming that she had been raped and that she needed help, Heying said. A blue Voyager van was following the woman, but it took off when she arrived at

The victim told deputies that she was walking in the Canal neighborhood when a stranger approached her in his van and asked her if she needed a ride home. She agreed, but soon noticed after entering the car that he was headed toward and not downtown San Rafael where she lived.

The suspect pulled into the turn out before China Camp, known as Buck’s Launching, and began placing his hands under her clothing, according to Heying. The victim refused, left the van and headed east on North San Pedro Road.

The suspect allegedly followed the victim and attempted to get her back in the vehicle, the woman told deputies.

Another witness reported seeing the van continue past Venetia Valley Elementary to the 100 block of Merrydale Road. Deputies found a van with a warm engine matching the description of the suspect in the parking lot of a nearby apartment complex.

The victim identified the van and Mendoza as the suspect, according to Heying. Deputies also found an electronic time card with Mendoza’s name on it left at the Buck’s Launching site.

“At first he denied knowing her at all,” Heying said. “But when he was confronted with the evidence he chanced his story and confessed to taking her to China Camp with intentions of having sex with her.”

Mendoza still denied attempting to get her back in the van, and told deputies that he followed her because he was trying to apologize, according to Heying.

Jane Gray August 10, 2012 at 03:49 AM
IT is always easy in hind site to critisize someone, but here we go: I live in the Canal area, you DO NOT get into anyone's car that you do not know, this is common knowledge---( Especially here), but I hope she is okay now, and sorry this happened to her. She is so fortunate that she is not like hundreds of victims, dead in some field somewhere. REMEMBER. this is a "Santuary City" I was told, so many are here illegally and in the Canal. We also have Street walkers at times here, drugs and gangs too. BE CAREFUL and warn your children.
Julie Beach August 10, 2012 at 06:51 PM
good job by the witnesses who called the law and good job by law enforcement that nailed this guy. Wondering what more crime it will take before we end the crime problem in San Rafael-s canal district ? these criminals are not keeping it within the Canal -it's spilling out to the main areas of San Rafael, our quite neighborhoods, our beautiful parkland areas like China Camp etc. It needs to be dealt with on a macro basis. We citizens of San Raf. need to end our hands-off, overly liberal attitude about illegal immigrants who are committing these crimes.
Jane Gray August 11, 2012 at 06:35 AM
Julie, I completely agree with you. I was just viewing the story about the gang trying to break the kid out of Juvenile hall? Talk about BOLD. I then came across a gang video about the gangs here-in Marin. In my own experience, a woman, with no DL, no car Insur, illegally driving, HAD A CALIF. I D CARD ON HER* CAR PLATE STICKER* Kids in her car, slams into my PARKED curbed car -TOTAL damages, * walked away, with a fine & "probation"? She was to pay me payments, sure, as soon as she collected on a bogus work injury she fled back to Mexico. I was asked when I furnished another name she goes by, "why are you poking your nose in this". I asked, the SR police, why she was not arrested on the spot? We are a "sanctuary city" here. This area contains, illegals from all over the world! We are a mix, a very dangerous mix. I believe the reason for this "sanctuary",is not only Liberalism, but these folks service many Millionaires yards, homecare , drivers, tree trimmers, & other services, at a low rate most the time. So who is putting pressure on City hall to keep this "Sanctuary"? I love all people, I am no better than any other race, but I do think we are way too lenient on Illegals in Ca.. What president just sanctioned all the illegal kids here? And finally,my local medical clinic,on the wall posted in the bathroom ? advertising a meeting in the Canal, at the Community Alliance, to TEACH UNDOCUMENTED HOW TO GET A JOB. Is something rotten in Denmark,or Marin County?

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