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


Subject :

Robbery Attempt Occurs at Neighborhood Park on Saturday Night
Contact : Marianna Villaescusa, Agent, Police Department    650-329-2413
Palo Alto, CA – A woman walking through a Palo Alto park on Saturday night was thrown to the ground by an unknown male suspect during a robbery attempt.  The woman was not physically injured and the suspect is at large.

On Saturday, February 18, 2017, at about 9:20 p.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received a call of a robbery attempt that had just occurred at Pardee Park at 851 Center Drive.  Officers responded immediately, but could not locate the suspect.

The investigation revealed that the victim, a woman in her twenties, had been walking her small dog on the footpath through Pardee Park.  She had been texting on her phone, and happened to notice the suspect standing just off the footpath near the playground at the southwest corner of the park.  She put her phone into her jacket pocket and continued walking, and the suspect started following her.  She stepped off the footpath to let him pass, but the suspect grabbed her around the neck and shoulders and threw her to the ground.  He immediately reached towards her jacket pocket in an apparent attempt to take her phone.  The victim began to scream, and the suspect placed his hand over her mouth to try to keep her quiet.  The victim then bit down on the suspect's hand, and the victim's dog began biting at the suspect's legs.  The suspect immediately ran away towards Center Drive.  The victim was not physically injured.

The victim described the suspect as a Hispanic male in his twenties.  He was about 5 feet 8 inches to 5 feet 10 inches tall with a medium build.  She said he was wearing a dark-colored baseball hat, a dark-colored hooded sweatshirt, and unknown-colored pants.  He was clean shaven.  No sketch is available at this time; if one is able to be produced, we will release it as soon as possible.

Detectives are actively investigating this case and trying to determine it may be connected to any other robbery attempts in Palo Alto or surrounding communities.

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