Julio Hernandez-Cepero: Man accused of stalking Port St. Lucie woman says he innocent

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - What were his intentions?

That’s the question a Port St. Lucie wants answered about a complete stranger charged with stalking her following a shopping trip.

We’re not identifying the woman because she is in fear for her safety.

On Nov. 17, the woman said she went to the Dollar Store for a quick shopping trip, and went straight home.

Surveillance cameras on her home captured a white mini-van passing her shortly after she pulled into her driveway. Minutes later, a man appears on her surveillance cameras lurking around her property. Police identified the man as Julio Hernandez-Cepero.

She called Port St. Lucie police, and officers made a suspicious person report, but could not identify the stranger.

Days later, police checked the surveillance video at the Dollar Store and say they found images of the same man that was captured on camera at the woman’s home.

A week after his first alleged unwanted visit to the woman's property, the woman said he came back.

“We were leaving. When we were leaving is when we saw the van,” the woman said. “Definitely not a good feeling.”

She says Cepero's van was parked in the same place neighbors told her it was parked during the first incident.

The woman says her boyfriend immediately reacted and drove around the car to try to get the tag number. He also tried to block him from leaving.

The woman said Cepero came out of a wooded area and got into the car.  He managed to drive away.

“That’s when he took off, and we ended up following him,” said the victim.

The woman said she and her boyfriend stayed on the phone for nearly 15 minutes until police arrived and arrested Cepero.

An arrest report shows Cepero thought the woman was pretty, wanted to meet her and couldn’t stop thinking about her,.

“I don’t understand how peeking through my windows is supposed to make me interested," the woman said.

On Monday, WPTV went to Cepero’s home to see if he wanted to speak in his defense. He told WPTV he's obtained an attorney and called himself innocent.

Cepero has posted bond.

Because of that, the woman says she is not letting her guard down.

“To feel unsafe in your own home? It’s just a gut-wrenching experience,” the victim said.

The woman also says she is typically very alert, but still did not notice she was allegedly being followed. She hopes other women will learn from her experience and be extremely aware of their surroundings.

An attorney for Cepero, James Regan, said on Twitter, "I represent Julio Hernandez Cepero. He will plead not guilty and is presumed innocent. He has no further comment at this time."
 

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