Police investigate attacks on hiking trails

LOS GATOS — Police are investigating two separate attacks on trails at St. Joseph’s Hill Open Space Preserve in the past month, potentially involving the same man described as assaulting trail-goers while threatening them with a knife.

The most recent assault was reported around 5:10 p.m. Sunday, when a woman told police she was on the Manzanita walking path when a man approached her from behind and l assaulted, according to the Los Gatos-Monte Sereno Police Department.

She reported that the man was holding a knife and tried to hold her back, but she broke free from his grip and managed to get the attention of others walking on the trail. The man then fled.

Police are also investigating a reported attack at around 6.15pm on January 13, when a teenage boy and girl who were on the Jones Trail said a man approached them and made threats while holding a knife, tricking teenagers into fleeing.

Both sets of victims described their attacker as a Latino man about 5ft 5in tall and weighing 150lbs, all wearing dark clothing and what could have been a bandanna covering his face, police said. During Sunday’s encounter, the victim reported that her attacker was carrying a dark-colored hiking backpack.

Police did not formally say they were looking for the same person in both assaults, but said the idea of ​​a single attacker was possible. The department added that it was consulting with other police departments to find out if anyone was wanted in similar assaults elsewhere in the area.

Anyone with information about the reported trail attacks can contact the Los Gatos-Monte Sereno Police Department at 408-354-8600.