A man authorities say has a history of following East Bay women and making obscene comments to them is facing new felony charges this week related to reports by three UC Berkeley students that he repeatedly stalked them near their home north of campus in late January.
Berkeley police arrested Sean Ramrattan Jr., 26, last week in connection with those reports. The young women told BPD that a man in a gray sedan followed them on Jan. 29 and Jan. 31 near their home in the area of Ridge Road and Euclid Avenue. On Friday, the Alameda County district attorney’s office filed three counts of felony stalking in the case — one count for each student — along with other enhancements that could result in a stiffer sentence if Ramrattan is convicted.
Ramrattan already had two open cases in Alameda County, related to stalking and sexual battery, from September 2021, according to court records. No city of residence was available for Ramrattan because police say he did not provide an address when he was arrested.
In an announcement Monday, BPD said detectives “believe there may be other victims as well” and asked anyone with information about similar encounters with Ramrattan to call BPD’s Sex Crimes Unit at 510-981-5735.
According to court papers, the Cal students, who are in their 20s, said a man drove by their home for several days in late January, then followed them in his car for at least a half-mile on Jan. 29 at 2 a.m. before parking outside their residence for an hour or two.
“They could see the car make U-turns and drive around the block in order to keep following them. The victims became concerned for their safety and ran home,” according to court papers. “The victims describe being so scared they did not want to sleep at their residence.”
Two days later, the students called police twice between 8 and 9 p.m. when they saw Ramrattan circling their block, police wrote. Officers responded and detained Ramrattan, according to court papers. He told police he was driving for DoorDash but authorities were unable to find any evidence of that in the car. (Berkeleyside has asked DoorDash for comment but had not received a response as of publication time.)
When police advised Ramrattan of the stalking allegations, he dismissed them, according to court documents, telling police, “Why would I stalk three women? If I wanted to stalk a woman to make her a victim, wouldn’t I go after one by herself? Because she would be the weakest, right?”
He also “made several peculiar comments about how the University area was full of women who want him,” according to a prepared statement from BPD.
That night, police ultimately released Ramrattan at the scene, but the investigation was far from over.
On Tuesday, police investigated a report that Ramrattan had interrupted a class in Evans Hall on the UC Berkeley campus “to ask about enrollment and then got in close proximity to female students and spoke with them making them feel uncomfortable,” according to court papers. Police received reports that Ramrattan — who is not a UC student — had gone into Evans Hall three times over 11 days while trying to flirt with, or ask about, a particular female staffer there.
The next day, BPD secured a warrant for Ramrattan’s arrest in connection with the Northside stalking allegations. Officers took him into custody just after 11:40 p.m. when they spotted him driving near Piedmont Avenue and Garber Street near campus.
The arresting officer wrote that “Ramrattan grunted and moved his body in such a manner that he was sexually gratified” when she searched him, according to court papers; he also made a sexual comment at Berkeley Jail related to his penis.
During an interview with sex crime detectives after his arrest, Ramrattan “denied following or stalking any women in Berkeley,” according to court papers: “If anything I’m frustrating women because I’m not giving into what they want,” he told them, according to court records. “Men don’t say ‘no’ to women like that. It’s rare, you know what I mean?”
During his BPD interview, Ramrattan spontaneously brought up his Oakland stalking case from September, telling detectives, according to court papers, that he had been “looking for sex.”
In that incident, on Sept. 20, Ramrattan is alleged to have driven up to a 65-year-old woman who was walking in an isolated area on Grizzly Peak Boulevard, then said “sexual coarse and offensive words” to her, according to court records. On Oct. 19, the DA’s office charged him with assault and stalking, both of which are listed as misdemeanors.
During the interview, Ramrattan also brought up his open sexual battery case, which stemmed from an interaction the day after the Grizzly Peak incident. On Sept. 21, Ramrattan followed a housekeeper for 2.5 miles as she drove through an Oakland hills neighborhood, then approached her on foot when she parked, according to court papers. He then asked her for sex and grabbed her breasts, according to police. On Dec. 29, Ramrattan was charged with misdemeanor sexual battery.
During the recent BPD interview, according to court papers, “Ramrattan admitted to having physical contact with the woman. He claims that the woman claimed sexual battery against him because of her ‘vindictive nature’ and because she was upset at not getting sex from him.”
During the interview, police wrote, Ramrattan was not shy about discussing the Oakland cases: “Both these women wanted sex from me. I just wasn’t a hundred percent comfortable with doing that as of yet.”
In its prepared statement Monday, BPD thanked the University of California and Oakland police departments for their assistance in the investigation.
As of Monday, according to court records online, Ramrattan remained in custody at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin with a bail of $300,000. He is scheduled for a pretrial hearing Feb. 28 at the Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse in Oakland.
Featured photo: Kelly Sullivan