SAN DIEGO — A man who harassed women at a San Diego shopping center, crawling under their cars at times so they couldn’t leave, will have to serve one year of probation and attend therapy sessions, a judge ordered this week.
Authorities charged 73-year-old Orlando Joseph Chavez with false imprisonment and battery, San Diego City Attorney Mara Elliott said in a news release Wednesday.
The series of incidents happened at a strip mall on Friars Road and Riverdale Street in Grantville. Between 2018 and 2020, Chavez approached women outside the stores at least six times. On several occasions, he told them their cars were leaking and crawled under the vehicles, “effectively holding them captive,” Elliott’s office wrote.
“He told one woman, ‘You can flatten me out any time,'” the city attorney said.
Chavez approached another woman as she picked up her kids from school, one in a series of stalking incidents with the same victim over the course of two years, according to investigators. He also slashed the tires on her husband’s car.
In another case, Chavez grabbed a woman by the arm, the city attorney said. She called her supervisor for help but Chavez was not deterred, telling them, “You girls are so pretty and should come with me,” according to an arrest warrant affidavit.
Chavez approached yet another repeat-victim three times, following her into work on one occasion to ask for her.
In some cases, the 73-year-old followed women in his truck as they left the area.
An off-duty police officer spotted Chavez climb under a woman’s car in one of the incidents. The officer ordered him to come out “at least five times” before he did, according to the city attorney. He yelled that he wasn’t doing anything wrong and drove off.
Chavez was finally arrested in 2020 and eventually pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor false imprisonment charge. In addition to one year of probation, a San Diego Superior Court Judge ordered he spend a year enrolled in a Stalking Treatment Options Program. He was also ordered to stay away from the shopping area parking lot.
Separately, the city attorney said Chavez admitted a charge of soliciting prostitution.