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


Subject :

Police Seek Man Who Follows 12-Year-Old Girl, Kisses Her
Contact : Marianna Villaescusa, Agent, Police Department    650-329-2413
Palo Alto, CA – Police are looking for a man who followed a 12-year-old girl as she walked back to her home, then put his hand over her mouth and kissed her cheek.  When she screamed, he fled on foot.  The suspect is at large, and the victim was not injured.

On Monday, December 14, 2015, at about 8:33 p.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received a call of a sex crime that had occurred in the 1000 block of Tanland Drive about 5:00 p.m.

The investigation revealed that the victim, a 12-year-old girl, was walking her bike northbound on Tanland Drive from Amarillo Avenue and talking to a parent on her cell phone. She noticed the suspect jogging northbound on Tanland Drive on the opposite side of the street from her.  The victim arrived at her apartment complex, carried her bike upstairs, and was getting out her house key when the man appeared in the hallway of the apartment complex.  He walked past her and said, "Excuse me." As she opened the door, he walked past her a second time, again saying, “Excuse me.”  As her back was turned to him, he placed a hand over her mouth, and kissed her on the cheek.  The victim screamed, and the suspect ran out of the apartment complex towards Tanland Drive.  The victim was on the phone with her parent throughout the incident.  Her parents later called police to report what had occurred.

The victim reported that when he put his hand over her mouth, it did not hurt and she could still continue to breathe.  The incident lasted a couple of seconds.  She was not injured.

The victim described the suspect as a Hispanic male, between the ages of 17 and 35.  He was wearing a light gray hooded sweatshirt and dark-colored workout pants.  It is unknown at this point if the victim will be able to work with a police artist to produce a sketch of the suspect; if that occurs, we will release it as soon as it is available.

Police ask for your help with reporting crimes and suspicious activity immediately.  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.

Detectives are actively investigating this case.  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