Sex offender accused of harassing women

Posted at 6:35 PM, Mar 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-04 21:35:46-05

ESCONDIDO, Calif. - A registered sex offender was arrested Thursday night in Escondido after several women said he harassed them.

Escondido police confirmed 34-year-old Ronald Owens was arrested, and the San Diego County Sheriff's Department website said Owens is being held on four felony charges, including violating his parole.

Christine Johnson said she first noticed Owens around her Escondido apartment complex two weeks ago. She said he tried getting her attention by calling out to her from afar, but she never engaged him in conversation.

On Tuesday, Johnson said he was outside her apartment when she left for work. Johnson told 10News she walked directly to her car and locked the door.

"I looked back at my rearview and he was standing at my back passenger window on the driver's side," she said.

Johnson said Owens then knocked on her door late Thursday night.

"He waited there a few minutes because I didn't answer," she said.

Johnson said she took several pictures of him through her door's peephole. She told 10News Owens knocked on another woman's door before leaving.

The neighbors then gathered outside to discuss the man, and Johnson said that's when she learned he was a registered sex offender.

One of the neighbors had a printout from the Megan's Law website, where he's listed as a transient and registered for lewd and lascivious acts against a child under 14 years of age.

Johnson said he was living in a nearby storage shed. He even touched one of her neighbors, Johnson added.

"Stroked her hair and touched her shoulder, so I knew he was up to no good," said Johnson. "I've been harassed before, but I can say I was genuinely afraid of him by the way he looked at me."

Owens was arrested after one of the neighbors called 911.

Johnson said she intends to be more cautious in the future.

"Always be aware of your surroundings," she said. "Definitely don't go out at night by yourself."