Menlo Park woman fights off attacker; 19-year-old arrested, charged with attempted rape

A Peninsula man is behind bars Friday night, charged with attempted rape. But investigators say the would-be victim turned the tables on her attacke and forced him to run off in fear. 

Regelio Alexander Artiga is being held in the San Mateo County jail, charged with attempted rape, assault with the intent to commit rape, and witness dissuasion.

“This case in itself is a little scary. We don’t see this much anymore,” said San Mateo County district attorney Steve Wagstaffe.

Menlo Park Police say Monday afternoon Artiga attacked a 33-year-old woman as she jogged near the intersection Oak Court and Woodland Drive in Menlo Park. 

After posing a nonsensical question, police say Artiga grabbed the woman from behind, pulled her into the roadside bushes, and pulled down her pants.

“She knew her life was in danger,” said Wagstaffe. “She knew when he started to pull her pants down he was going to sexually assault her.”

But investigators say the victim fought back, screaming at Artiga that she was going to kill him for attacking her. He became scared and tried to run away. She went after him, but then stopped and called police.

“It was risky, but I don’t second guess it at all for this reason: the man did not have a weapon. If he had a knife or a gun, then I think that would have been a step not to take,” said Wagstaffe.

Menlo Park police arrested the 19-year-old East Palo Alto resident a short time later. He’s being held on a $150,000 bail bond and will be in court at 9 a.m. October 2 for a felony preliminary hearing.