A man who would harass women at a Mission Valley shopping center by crawling under their cars and refusing to leave is facing charges of false imprisonment and criminal assault and battery, the San Diego City Attorney’s Office said.
San Diego resident Orlando Chavez, 72, is accused of approaching women in the parking lot of the shopping center at Friars Road and Mission Gorge Road and harassing them, court filings state.
Chavez allegedly has, on multiple occasions, crawled under women’s cars to prevent them from leaving. The first of such an encounter was reported in 2018 and the most recent was reported on Aug. 13.
During one incident, an off-duty officer witness Chavez refusing to come out from under a woman’s car until he was ordered to do so at least five times. After he finally got out, he yelled that he did nothing wrong and drove away in his truck, the City Attorney’s Office said.
On another occasion, the defendant is accused of grabbing a woman by her arm and telling her, “You can flatten me out any time.” During another encounter, Chavez allegedly followed another woman into her workplace. He also approached yet another woman as she waited to pick up her kids from school, according to the City Attorney’s Office.
Local police said the suspect was under investigation for stalking that last woman for almost two years and slashing her husband’s tires.
“Everyone has the right to feel safe when going to work, shopping, or picking up their children at school,” City Attorney Mara Elliott said in a statement. “As City Attorney, I take seriously threatening and harassing behaviors like this and will hold accountable individuals who endanger the safety of any San Diegan.”
The City Attorney’s Office said Chavez has a criminal record with “multiple” convictions involving weapon violations and burglary.
Anyone who has witnessed Chavez’s alleged harassment, or who has been a victim to it, is asked to call the City Attorney’s Criminal Division at (619) 533-5500.
Editor's Note: After an update from the City Attorney's Office, this article has been corrected to indicate that the incidents occurred in a Mission Valley shopping center parking lot, not at the Westfield Mission Valley mall.