MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. -- Mountain View police Friday are investigating two separate attacks on registered sex offenders living in the city that police say may be connected.
The sex offenders attacked in each case were convicted more than 15 years ago for sex crimes against children, police spokeswoman Liz Wylie said. Both men have been problem-free and compliant since living in the city, she added.
The latest attack was carried out Thursday around 7:15 a.m. when a suspect used a wooden stick to force his way into the home of a registered sex offender living in the northern section of the city, according to police.
The suspect attacked the man, hitting him several times over the head before fleeing the area. The suspect indicated that he was attacking the victim because of the victim's sex offender status, Wylie said.
Wylie would not reveal what the suspect did to indicate his intent in attacking the victim.
"We're not sure if it will be important to the investigation," she said.
Police were unable to locate the suspect, and the victim, who suffered several lacerations to his head, was taken to the hospital for treatment.
Another attack was carried out last month, when on Oct. 19 around 9:40 a.m. a suspect armed with a bat left a Molotov cocktail device at the front door of a registered sex offender's apartment on the west side of the city, police said.
A witness approached the suspect, who indicated in some way that he was at the home because the resident is a registered sex offender, Wylie said.
The suspect, who took the Molotov cocktail device and left the scene, was not located, but police did locate two Molotov cocktails in the area.
In both cases the suspect was described as a man in his 20s standing about 6 feet tall wearing all dark clothing and a dark baseball hat.
However, in Thursday's attack the suspect was described as a white man in his 20s weighing about 170 to 175 pounds and in the Oct. 19 case the suspect was described as a Hispanic man in his 20s.
"(The description) is exactly the same other than race," said Wylie, who added that police are considering the possibility the crimes were carried out by the same man.
"We know people see things differently," she explained.
Police Friday had not yet released sketches of the suspects.
Investigators have called nearby police agencies to see if similar attacks had occurred outside of Mountain View, but no other attacks have been reported, Wylie said.
Both of the sex offenders who were victim to the crimes were convicted more than 15 years ago, an indication the young suspect is not likely connected to the victims' cases, according to Wylie.
"It doesn't seem likely he was involved (in their convictions)," she said.
Wylie said one of the sex offenders was convicted in Santa Clara County but did not know where the other had been convicted. She would not release further information about the men.
"Who they are might have a lot to do with why they were picked," Wylie said.
Investigators sent letters out to the estimated 80 registered sex offenders living in Mountain View, a figure that fluctuates frequently, according to Wylie. The residents have been warned to be extra vigilant with their safety and contact police if they see anything or anyone suspicious.
"We want to be sure they understand that we don't care about their status as a sex offender," Wylie said. "If they're a victim, they're a victim."