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


Subject :

Female Jogger Escapes from Sexual Assault Attempt on Baylands Trail
Contact : Brian Philip, Detective Sergeant, Police    650-329-2413
Sketch of Suspect
Palo Alto, CA -- An unknown male suspect attacked and groped a female jogger on a trail at the Palo Alto Baylands Nature Preserve on Sunday morning before the victim was able to push him away and free herself.  The victim was not injured and the suspect is at large.  Police are hoping to locate two bicyclists who witnessed the crime.

On Sunday, June 2, 2013, at about 10:50 a.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received a call of a battery that had just occurred at the Palo Alto Baylands Nature Preserve at 2775 Embarcadero Road.  Officers arrived on scene about four minutes later, and despite an extensive search of the area, were unable to locate the suspect.

The investigation revealed that the victim, a woman in her thirties, had been jogging along the trail that circles the Palo Alto Baylands Nature Preserve, the Palo Alto Airport, and the Palo Alto Golf Course.  She had first noticed a male following her over the bridge from East Palo Alto before she entered the trail.  He jogged behind her while she went on the loop trail (approximately three miles) in a clockwise direction.  At times, he was close enough to her to make her feel uncomfortable.  For that reason, she stopped on three occasions along the route with the hope that he would pass her, but each time he stopped as well and remained behind her.

As she was adjacent to the Palo Alto Golf Course, about 4/10 of a mile north of the Baylands Athletic Center and jogging northbound towards the bridge, the victim said the suspect "jumped on her back" from behind.  She believed he was attempting to take her to the ground, but she was able to keep her balance and stay on her feet.  The suspect groped her sexually over her clothing as she struggled with him.  The victim successfully pushed him away.  At the same time, two bicyclists approached them on the path.  The suspect immediately ran away northbound on the trail, and the victim last saw him running over the bridge into East Palo Alto.  The bicyclists stopped to check on the victim, and then left the area.  The victim was not injured.

Officers interviewed a witness who saw the same suspect earlier that morning coming out of the men's restroom at the Baylands Athletic Center at 1900 Geng Road in Palo Alto between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m.  That witness, a woman in her forties, told police the man had also followed her along the same stretch of trail where this crime occurred.

The victim described the suspect as a Hispanic or Hispanic / black biracial male, about 20 years old, about 5 feet 8 inches tall and 160 pounds.  He had black “buzzed” hair and was clean shaven.  He had clear-colored studded earrings in both ears.  He was wearing long blue shorts, a plain white T-shirt, and white tennis shoes.  The attached sketch of the suspect was released on June 4, 2013 at about 3:10 p.m.

There are a number of good personal safety and crime prevention tips posted on the City of Palo Alto website.  Visit for more information.

Detectives from the Palo Alto Police Department are actively investigating this case.  Police are increasing patrols in the area, and are also working in conjunction with park rangers from the City of Palo Alto’s Open Space, Parks, and Golf Division.  Police do not believe at this time that this incident is related to any other assaults that have occurred in Palo Alto.

Police are hoping to locate and interview the two bicyclists who stopped to assist the victim, as they are witnesses to this crime.  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.