Women describe disturbing encounters with 'man in the van'

Posted at 5:59 PM, Dec 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-02 22:02:31-05

SAN DIEGO - Two women say they're worried about walking in their own neighborhood after disturbing encounters with a mystery man in a van.

"Talking about it gives me the chills," said Maria.

Step by step, Maria walked the same route she and her dog did Tuesday at around 7 p.m. on Jeff Street in Rolando Park.

"I looked to the right and there was a van," said Maria.

It was an older maroon van.

"It stopped as I stopped," Maria added.

About then, her heart almost stopped.

"There's a person looking at me in the van and drinking a bottle of wine. I immediately got frightened. It didn't feel right," said Maria.

Moments later, Maria ran to a neighbor and they both watched the van parked in the middle of the street.

"He had been there for about three to four minutes," said Maria.

Maria said the van moved to several other spots, several minutes at a time. She called 911, but by then he had taken off.

"Almost felt like I was being stalked," said Maria.

The next night -- a few blocks away -- Nicole was also walking her dog. She said around 7 p.m., she also noticed an older maroon van slow down, before crawling past her.

Nicole said the van made a U-turn at an intersection, and then drive towards her. As it got closer, she pulled out a small flashlight and shined it.

Nicole said she saw the driver's silhouette, adding, "It creeped me out; almost reclining back toward the window and looking at me. He did speed up and didn't come back a third time."

Both Nicole and Maria shared the incidents on the Nextdoor app as a warning to others.

"You don't feel safe as a woman, walking in the neighborhood where you're supposed to feel safe," said Maria.

Because of the darkness, neither of the women got a good look at the man's face.