Palo Alto police are asking for the public’s help in identifying a man who robbed and sexually assaulted a woman and attempted to rob a second in a local hotel over the weekend.
According to police, the first victim and the suspect had arranged to meet at the Glass Slipper Inn on El Camino Real on Saturday night. The suspect arrived armed with a knife, robbed the victim of her cash, and sexually assaulted her.
Police learned the suspect had contacted the victim in response to an ad she had placed online offering massage services. He called her to arrange a meeting in a specific room at the hotel, according to authorities. Once inside the room, he produced the knife, and ordered the victim to hand over all her cash before he ordered her to perform a sex act with him.
Following the assault, the suspect left the room and encountered a colleague of the victim sitting in a nearby chair. He brandished the knife at her and demanded money, but the victim had no cash to provide. The suspect was last seen walking northbound on El Camino Real.
Preliminary investigation revealed that the suspect likely targeted the first victim and planned his crimes in advance. Detectives believe that the attempted robbery outside the hotel room was unplanned.
The victims, neither of whom was seriously injured, described the suspect as an Asian man in his 30s or 40s. He was between 5’5” and 5’8” with a medium build and was wearing blue jeans and a brown hooded sweatshirt.
Palo Alto police have released a surveillance photo of the suspect in the hopes that someone will be able to identify him. Anyone with information is asked to contact police at (650) 329-2413. Anonymous tips may be left by calling or texting (650) 383-8984.