Palo Alto police are asking for the public’s help in identifying a man who cursed at and tried to grab an 11-year-old girl on her bicycle Monday evening.
Officers responded to the 1600 block of Emerson Street at about 5:30 p.m. after receiving a 911 call about suspicious circumstances in the area. A search was conducted, but the suspect was not found.
The victim told police she was riding her bicycle when she spotted the suspect glaring at her. He began swearing at the girl as she approached him and, when she was about 10 feet away, he stepped off the sidewalk and attempted to grab her right arm as she rode past. Police say the man was unable to actually touch the victim, who screamed and rode away. She told police she heard the suspect yell that he was going to kidnap her before he turned in the other direction and fled on foot. The victim rode home and told her parents, who notified police.
The victim described the suspect as a white man in his 30s, between 5’9” and 6’ tall and between 140 and 160 pounds. He had light hair and had a receding hairline, police say. He was wearing glasses and a “puffy” dark blue jacket at the time of the incident. Police have released a sketch of the suspect in the hopes that someone will be able to identify him. There is no known suspect vehicle and police were unable to locate any witnesses.
Palo Alto police have since increased patrols in the area, but say they have not received any reports of similar incidents occurring in the city. Anyone with information on this case is asked to contact Palo Alto police at (650) 329-2413. Anonymous tips may be sent via text message or voicemail to (650) 383-8984.