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


Subject :

Police Searching for Suspect in Early-Morning Sexual Assault
Contact : Zach Perron, Captain, Police Department    650-329-2413

Palo Alto, CA – Police are searching for a male suspect who sexually assaulted and robbed a female pedestrian this morning shortly after 4:00 a.m.

On Monday, January 7, 2019, at about 4:18 a.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received a call from a woman reporting that she had just been sexually assaulted by an unknown suspect in the 100 block of Everett Avenue. The woman, who is in her thirties, drove herself to the police station immediately after the assault and used the phone at the front door to summon help. Officers conducted an extensive check of the area for the suspect, but could not locate him.

The preliminary investigation revealed that the victim was walking westbound on the south side of the 100 block of Everett Avenue at about 4:10 a.m. As she approached her parked car, the suspect walked up to her and asked if she could spare any change. She said she could, and reached into her car to get some change. The suspect then struck her first on the back, and then a second time on the back of her head, with an unknown object. The male then sexually assaulted her. The victim began to scream and fight back, at which point the male reached into her jacket pocket and removed her wallet. He then fled on foot eastbound on Everett Avenue before turning northbound on Emerson Street. The victim then drove herself to the police station to summon police. Paramedics from the Palo Alto Fire Department responded to the police station to treat the victim, who complained of pain to the back of her head.

The victim described the suspect as a white male in his late twenties to mid-thirties, about 5 feet 11 inches tall with a skinny build. He had brown or dirty blonde long straight hair, an unkempt beard, and a beanie with a pompom on top. On Wednesday, January 9, the victim worked with a police artist to produce a sketch of the suspect. It is attached to this release.

Detectives are actively investigating this case. It is not related to two other recent sexual assaults in Palo Alto; detectives have arrested the suspect in each of those two cases. For details of those arrests, see our news releases here and here.

Sexual assaults committed by strangers are exceptionally rare in Palo Alto; the fact that there have been three such cases within three weeks is very unusual. With arrests promptly made in the first two cases, detectives are certain there is no connection between the three incidents. Police recommend that people remain aware of their surroundings at all times, and promptly report suspicious behavior immediately to law enforcement.

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