A 29-year-old homeless man who followed a 19-year-old UC Berkeley student and grabbed her buttocks Wednesday morning has been arrested, authorities report.
The incident happened at 10:20 a.m. in the 2700 block of Haste Street (near Piedmont Avenue) in the Southside neighborhood near the UC Berkeley campus.
The UC Berkeley student was walking up to a security gate at a private apartment building when a stranger approached her from behind, the Berkeley Police Department said.
The man "asked the woman if she was going in the apartment and then grabbed the woman’s buttocks," according to police. "Fearing that the suspect was going to try and follow her inside, the woman ran down the street and called the police."
Arriving officers found the man on Haste Street and took him into custody.
Police say this is not the same man who grabbed a UC Berkeley student and threatened her with sexual violence Tuesday evening. That person had not been arrested as of Thursday, police said, but BPD sex crimes investigators continue to prioritize the case.
Berkeley police identified the man from the Haste Street incident as 29-year-old David Prendez (no address). He was arrested on suspicion of sexual battery, violation of probation, resisting arrest and failing to register as a sex offender.
Because Prendez is transient, he is required to file monthly reports with authorities about his location due to his sex offender status, police said. But he has not done that, according to BPD.
David Prendez was convicted of sexual battery in the fall
Prendez has a long rap sheet and has already gotten into trouble for sexual offenses on campus property during the current school year.
He reportedly trespassed into the Unit 2 student housing complex on Haste Street on Sept. 15, 2022, and was seen in a girls' bathroom shower stall, according to the University of California Police Department.
Later that night, Prendez exposed himself to and sexually battered a Cal employee, UCPD said previously. Police arrested him in a Unit 2 bathroom the same night.
Prendez was ultimately convicted of misdemeanor sexual battery and placed on probation after about a month in jail.
Those efforts are ongoing.
David Prendez. BPD
Prendez has a long history of mostly misdemeanor cases in Alameda County dating back to 2015. For nearly all of them, he was put on probation after serving limited jail time. In several matters, the case was dismissed as part of a plea deal.
Prendez had 11 separate criminal cases in Alameda County in 2022 alone.
Charges against him have included felony battery as well as misdemeanor assault, assault on a peace officer, intimidating a local business or customers, trespassing, and possessing stolen property and drugs.
Prendez is on court probation in connection with multiple cases at this time, according to Alameda County Superior Court records online. But he has repeatedly been charged with violating his probation terms, which is a felony.
As of Thursday, Prendez remains in custody at Santa Rita Jail with a bail of $25,000 — but he appears to be ineligible for release due to his probation status, according to jail records online.
In Alameda County, defendants on court probation for misdemeanors are often released after serving limited jail time, if any, even when they have been found to have violated their probation terms.
Prendez is scheduled for arraignment Friday.
Read more about crime near UC Berkeley on The Berkeley Scanner. UC Berkeley offers a number of safety and security resources for members of the campus community. Cal also publishes resources related to those needing support regarding sexual violence.