A 28-year-old man is back in custody this week in connection with felony sex crime charges stemming from an incident in Berkeley last December.
Police arrested Christopher Szabo at the Southside neighborhood 7-Eleven, at 2601 Telegraph Ave., on Tuesday afternoon on suspicion of possessing drugs and stolen property, according to booking records. Charges have not been filed for that incident, according to court records, but Szabo is facing more serious allegations that have kept him in jail this week: Authorities say Szabo assaulted a woman on Fulton Street in December 2020 with the intent to commit a sex crime and also threatened to rape her, according to court papers.
Szabo, who has no permanent address, has a long list of arrests in Alameda County dating back to 2015, according to records online. Eight of the arrests refer to annoying a child or sexual battery.
Szabo was charged in connection with four separate criminal cases in 2020; the first one landed him on probation, two were dismissed and the fourth one, the felony sex crime case, is still active.
In that incident, according to court records, Szabo walked into the yard of a woman on Fulton Street, near Parker Street, and aggressively solicited her for sex. It was about 2:30 p.m. When the woman tried to get away, police wrote in court papers, Szabo followed her and continued to make sexual comments.
At one point, the woman, who is in her 30s, had to struggle with Szabo to free herself from him, police wrote. She managed to get behind her fence and lock her gate, police wrote, despite Szabo’s efforts to force it open.
Szabo even tried to climb over the 6-foot fence while the woman told him to leave and that he was trespassing, according to court papers.
“How long is it going to take for you to call the cops, how long do I have to rape you?” he asked the woman, according to court papers, among other similarly threatening statements.
The woman walked away from the area but, when she later looked outside, police wrote, “Szabo appeared to have been waiting and returned to the gate soliciting for sex and making threats of rape.”
As the woman called 911, Szabo walked northbound on Fulton, BPD said. Police found him and took him into custody.
The Berkeley Police Department arrested Szabo two other times last year, and the University of California Police Department has arrested him 10 times since 2015, according to records online.
In December 2020, Szabo was charged with indecent exposure after an arrest by UCPD several weeks earlier at Telegraph Avenue and Haste Street. Berkeleyside has asked UCPD for more information about that arrest.
Earlier in the year, on May 24, 2020, BPD arrested Szabo after he reportedly defecated outside a home near Willard Park in front of a father and his 10-year-old son, according to police. BPD said Szabo then asked the father for permission to have sex with the boy. The man was able to take a photograph of Szabo leaving the area, authorities said, and police were able to identify and arrest him based, in part, on that evidence.
After the Willard Park arrest, the Alameda County district attorney’s office charged Szabo with annoying or molesting a child, which is a misdemeanor, but the case was dismissed by Judge Stuart Hing two months later.
A different Alameda County Superior Court judge had placed Szabo on probation in February 2020 after he was found guilty of engaging in lewd conduct, which is a misdemeanor. Szabo was placed on probation through 2023.
Szabo remained in custody at Santa Rita Jail as of Thursday with a bail of $160,000, according to jail records online. His next court date was not listed as of publication time.