News Release News Release The City of Palo Alto
Communications Department
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301


Subject :

Man in Car Accosts Middle School Students
Contact : Zach Perron, Lieutenant, Police Department    650-329-2413
Palo Alto, CA – A man in a vehicle pulled up next to two middle school students and made inappropriate comments to them while beckoning them to get them to come closer to his car.  The suspect is unknown and at large.

On Thursday, August 27, 2015, at about 6:28 p.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received a report of suspicious circumstances that had occurred about 45 minutes earlier near Jordan Middle School at 750 North California Avenue.  Officers responded to the area, but the suspect was gone.

The investigation revealed that two 12-year-old children, one girl and one boy, had been walking together in the 2200 block of Middlefield Road adjacent to Jordan Middle School.  A man drove up next to them and tried to beckon them over to his car.  They ignored him and kept walking, and the man drove away.

When the students reached the intersection of North California Avenue and Newell Road, the same man again pulled up next to them and started talking to them while still in his car. The man told the girl repeatedly that she was "beautiful," and asked if she was dating the boy and if they were going to get married.  He again tried to beckon them closer to his car, but the children stayed a safe distance away.  The man did not get out of his car, and never made any threats against the students.  He eventually drove away.  The children immediately called a parent to come pick them up, and a parent later notified police about what had happened.

The students described the suspect as a white man in his late twenties or early thirties with hair colored “dirty blonde” and worn in a buzz cut.  He had a slim build, was unshaven, and was wearing a white buttoned shirt.  The suspect vehicle was a newer-model white car with four doors, possibly a sedan or a hatchback.  The vehicle's left headlight was broken, as if it had been involved in a collision.  No sketch of the suspect is available at this time; should one be produced, we will release it as soon as it is available.

Patrol officers are monitoring common school commute routes used by students.  Detectives are investigating to determine if this incident may be connected to the one that occurred on Friday, August 21, 2015, in the 3800 block of Louis Road; while the suspect description is vaguely similar, the vehicle description is not (see this link for info about that incident).

Police continue to ask for your help with reporting suspicious activity immediately via 9-1-1.  We also advise parents to remind children to remain alert no matter where they are, and to tell a trusted adult immediately about anything they see that does not seem quite right.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call our 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413.  Anonymous tips can be e-mailed to or sent via text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984.  Tips can also be submitted anonymously through our free mobile app, downloadable at or