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Police investigating man for harassing women in Sacramento

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The Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office is investigating complaints against a man who allegedly has been following and harassing women in and around the R Street corridor in Sacramento, according to court records.

Police said the man, Todd Richardson, 49, has been arrested three times and released in connection with the complaints and is scheduled to be arraigned April 30.

Employees of R Street businesses had reported to police that Richardson has been harassing and following them in recent weeks. A warrant was issued April 10, according to court records, after a woman reported to the California Highway Patrol she had seen Richardson masturbating near her work on 14th and S streets March 14.

Richardson was then arrested April 12 on the warrant for misdemeanor charges of lewd conduct in a public place. He was released the next day, Sacramento Police Department Officer Marcus Basquez said. He was then arrested again for the same city code violation of trespassing on private property on both April 15 and April 18.

The woman who made the complaint, Erin Von Tersch, also called CHP when she saw Richardson walking toward her in a parking lot as she walked to her car March 21, according to the DA. She reported motioning to Richardson to stop walking, which he did, but as she got in her car to drive toward the exit, Richardson allegedly knocked on the car’s windows.

The parking lot von Tersch was leaving required that she stop and roll down her windows before leaving, but Richardson was still circling her car, von Tersch said in an interview. She said she sat in her car while Richardson allegedly waited for her to roll down the window.

Von Tersch said she dialed 911 and mouthed that she was calling the cops .After waiting for about five minutes, she said Richardson finally walked away.

“I was so scared I was trying to act brave,” von Tersch said, “because it felt like a prey or be preyed situation.”

CHP handled her complaint because the incidents occurred near the state Department of Transportation building on 14th Street, but the case has now been turned over to the district attorney’s office.

Richardson’s alleged behavior in midtown prompted an R Street corridor worker’s Twitter post more than a week ago that went viral.

Sara Yampolsky, an employee of the Space07 , wrote in her post April 6 that she had been followed three times. She tweeted a flier, along with pictures, which the nearby Iron Horse Tavern was distributing to other businesses in the popular downtown R street corridor to warn about the man’s behavior.

The Sacramento Police Department had been following the matter prior to the release of the arrest warrant, according to spokesman Sgt. Vance Chandler. He said that Richardson was previously in custody Feb. 26. He was held for previous charges of five counts of trespass and one count of a burglary. The burglary occurred at Pieology in 16th Street, records show.

“We have extra patrols in the area and we have shared the information with patrol officers,” Chandler said.

Court records show that Richardson faced two trespass charges in 2017, one in June and one in July, both of which were dismissed this year. Chandler was unable to confirm whether these trespass charges were the same for which Richardson was held Feb. 26.

Richardson has 18 separate cases on file in Sacramento County since 2014 in addition to the case opened Wednesday and including the city trespass violations, according to court records. These were mostly arrests for drunk in public and indecent exposure, though a number of the cases ended with charges being dismissed.

Richardson is described in the arrest warrant and the flier as wearing a dark sweatshirt with “Sacramento” on its front with gray sweatpants. Police said he usually frequents the area between R and S streets and 13th and 15th streets.

The Bee’s Darrell Smith contributed to this report.