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


Subject :

Woman Assaulted on Neighborhood Sidewalk; Suspect at Large
Contact : Janine De la Vega, Public Affairs Manager    650-329-2413

Palo Alto, CA – Police are searching for a suspect who is responsible for attacking a woman who was walking on a neighborhood sidewalk. A canine and neighborhood search was conducted. The suspect has not been identified and remains at large.

On Thursday, December 20, 2018 at 6:04 p.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received a call that a woman was screaming in the 400 block of Miramonte Avenue. The preliminary investigation reveals that a woman in her thirties was walking southbound in the 1500 block of Castilleja Avenue when a male suspect came from behind and put his hand over her mouth. The suspect pushed the victim down into the bushes. During the struggle on the ground, the victim started screaming and the suspect began to punch her in the face repeatedly. Neighbors heard the screams and came outside, which scared the suspect away. He was last seen running away eastbound on Miramonte Avenue and then turning southbound on Mariposa Avenue.

The victim suffered bruising and swelling to her face and bruising to her shoulder. She declined medical attention. A canine and neighborhood search was conducted, but the suspect was not located. Detectives are actively investigating this case. The motive for the attack is unknown. The suspect did not steal anything from the victim.

The victim could only describe the suspect as an unknown race male wearing jeans and a black backpack. It is possible that one of the neighbor witnesses may be able to work with a police artist to produce a sketch. Detectives are also reviewing video surveillance footage from neighbors that may have captured images of the suspect or the assault. If either a sketch or surveillance images become available, we will release them immediately.

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