It's apparently too much to ask demented criminals to leave alone Orange County women who walk their dogs in the morning.
At least in Abu Zar's case, there's something deeply alluring about that scenario.
It's a sexual turn on.
The Orange County restaurant chain audit manager likes to drive up in his yellow Honda Civic without his pants on, start a conversation with the woman walking a dog, continually look down at his crotch and then expose his erect penis, according to court records.
Police say that's exactly what happened at 9:45 a.m. on January 17, 2007. Maria Torres was walking her employers' dogs when 5-foot-6 and 128 pound Zar, clad only in a shirt, drove up and committed his crime. Either satisfied with his stunt or alarmed that Torres was pressing buttons on her cell phone, Zar--who is a horrible driver, according to traffic records--sped off and escaped.
Three week's later, Zar and his wife Benish drove up to Torres in the same area and almost struck her with the Honda. A shocked Torres watched as an angry Zar screamed that she gotten him "into trouble." He also ordered his wife to take pictures of her. Again, Zar sped off when Torres began dialing her cell phone.
This is where the weird turns pro.
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Apparently thinking that hostility wasn't the way to treat his victim, Zar switched from stick to carrot. He convinced a friend, Lourdes Padilla Nguyen, to call Torres and offer her $5,000 to $10,000. Nguyen was lead to believe that Zar had caused an auto accident with Torres and simply wanted her "to drop charges." Nguyen made the call but, after talking to an alarmed Torres, realized there had been no car accident. She too called police.
When police eventually arrested Zar he claimed he was baffled by the allegations. His story? He had been hard at work during the crime. Nonetheless, a jury convicted him of indecent exposure and for attempting to dissuade a witness (Torres). It didn't help that a second dog-walking-woman testified that an erect Zar drove up pants-less on her too one morning. Judge Dan McNerney didn't give him the maximum sentence but he sent him to prison.
This week, a California Court of Appeal based in Santa Ana considered Zar's appeal argument--basically that the jury should have never heard that he'd confronted Torres. That evidence unfairly made jurors dislike him, the 36-year-old man said. The justices weren't impressed. They upheld the convictions and the two-year sentence.
--R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly