Man accused of repeat inappropriate touching in SFPD custody

San Francisco police have arrested Bill Gene Hobbs, a man accused in a string of incidents in which he inappropriately touched strangers.

Earlier on Friday, San Francisco district attorney's office announced a warrant for Hobbs on suspicion of false imprisonment, six counts of battery, four counts of public nuisance, and three counts of sexual battery. 

The 34-year-old is blamed for 14 incidents targeting women that started last month. But police claimed that he could be involved in more transgressions going back to last year.

"I think what has helped is the number of victims who have come forward. It certainly helps to build a case to see a pattern of conduct, so someone can't make an excuse in one situation that it was harmless or unintentional," says DA Brooke Jenkins.

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Photo courtesy Heather Knight/ San Francisco Chronicle. 

"In these incidents, an unknown white male would approach female victims and make unwanted physical advances towards them," San Francisco police said Friday after announcing the warrant had been issued. "In many of these cases, the suspect would inappropriately touch the victim. The suspect would then immediately flee."

It was not clear how police identified Hobbs as the alleged culprit, but they said they spoke to victims and witnesses while also looking for video and photos of what transpired.

SFPD said officers received word that Hobbs was on the 3200 block of Van Ness Avenue at around 2:30 p.m. Park Police were able to locate and detain Hobbs. The suspect was then taken into SFPD custody without further incident when officers arrived.