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


PRESS RELEASE 0705201602
Subject :

Police Solve Lewd Conduct Case, Determine Teenager is Responsible
Contact : Brian Philip, Sergeant, Police Department    650-329-2413
Palo Alto, CA – Officers have solved a case that occurred in April 2016 where a 17-year-old boy exhibited lewd behavior to a woman in her seventies on a public sidewalk.

On Tuesday, April 26, 2016, at about 4:02 p.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received a report of a suspicious circumstance that had occurred a day earlier between 4:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. in the 400 block of Melville Avenue.  The victim, a woman in her seventies, told police she had been walking her dog eastbound on Melville Avenue as the suspect followed her.  She stopped in a driveway to let him pass.  As he passed her, he had a jacket draped over both of his hands, covering his groin, and was moving one of his hands in a rhythmic motion.  The victim believed he was masturbating.

Officers conducted follow-up investigation and were able to identify the suspect as a 17-year-old juvenile from East Palo Alto.  Officers completed their investigation and submitted a case to the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office for review.  In late June 2016, the District Attorney’s Office and Santa Clara County Juvenile Probation Department sustained a petition against the minor for one count of lewd conduct (a misdemeanor).  No additional information about the suspect is available for release, including a photograph, due to our standard procedures surrounding juvenile suspects.

This case occurred on the same street as an indecent exposure from March 14, 2016, in which a male flashed a 13-year-old girl walking her dogs.  At this time, there is no evidence connecting the juvenile suspect from the lewd conduct case to the flashing, or any other recent cases in Palo Alto.  The indecent exposure case remains open and under investigation.

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