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


Subject :

Police Seeking Man Who Harasses Boy on Sidewalk
Contact : Brian Philip, Sergeant, Police Department    650-329-2413
Palo Alto, CA -- Police are looking for a man who approached a 10-year-old boy on a sidewalk, placed his arms around him without touching him, made a guttural noise, and then walked away.

On Monday, October 17, 2016, at about 3:10 p.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received a call of a suspicious person that had been seen about twenty minutes earlier in the 900 block of Webster Street. Officers responded to the area immediately, but could not locate the person.

The investigation revealed that the victim, a 10-year-old boy, was walking by himself on the sidewalk in the 900 block of Webster Street.  The suspect, who was walking towards the boy on the sidewalk, put his arms around the boy without touching him.  The man then made a guttural noise and walked into the bushes of the nearby Webster Wood apartment community.  The suspect never made physical contact with the victim, and never said any discernable words to him.  The boy continued walking home and immediately told a parent, who in turn called the police.

The victim described the suspect as a white male, possibly in his twenties, with a clean-cut appearance.  The victim could only describe the suspect's clothing as possibly a blue shirt.  It is possible the victim may be able to meet with a police artist to produce a sketch.  If that occurs, we will release the sketch as soon as it is available.

Detectives are investigating the incident to see if it is connected to any other cases.  Police ask for your help with reporting suspicious activity immediately, as the parent did in this case.  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