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


Subject :

Police Looking for Man Who Harassed Boy on Sidewalk
Contact : Marianna Villaescusa, Agent, Police Department    650-329-2413
Palo Alto, CA – Police are searching for a man who approached an 11-year-old boy on a sidewalk and asked him his name and touched his shoulder before the boy ran away.

On Monday, November 7, 2016, at about 3:23 p.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received a call of a suspicious circumstance that had just occurred in the 700 block of Colorado Avenue.  Officers responded to the area immediately, but did not locate the suspect.

The investigation revealed that the victim, an 11-year-old boy, was walking eastbound by himself on the north side of the 700 block of Colorado Avenue.  The suspect, who the victim noticed had been standing in front of the 7-Eleven convenience store, crossed the street and stopped on the sidewalk in front of the boy.  He greeted the victim, who ignored him and walked past.  The suspect then put one hand on the boy's shoulder from behind and asked him for his name.  The victim shrugged the suspect’s hand off and ran away.  The victim went home and immediately told a parent, who in turned called the police.

The victim described the suspect as an adult Hispanic male with facial hair and a Spanish accent.  He said the suspect was wearing a blue shirt, but could not further describe his clothing.  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.

While there was a similar incident that occurred in Palo Alto on October 17, detectives do not believe at this point that the same suspect is responsible.  Detectives are actively investigating both cases, however.  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