A man armed with a handgun attempted to rob a pedestrian in a downtown Palo Alto parking garage Friday night, Feb. 22, police have announced.
The victim fought back briefly, then ran away and escaped without injury while retaining his property. The gunman is at large, according to Palo Alto police Officer Marco Estrada.
On Friday at about 8:24 p.m., the 24-hour dispatch center received a 9-1-1 call from a man who reported someone had just tried to rob him at gunpoint near the Cowper/Webster Parking Garage at 520 Webster St. Officers arrived on scene within two minutes but were not able to locate the would-be robber.
The investigation revealed that the victim, a man in his 50s, had paused on a walk along the pathway on the south side of the parking garage. While he was stopped, the gunman rode up to him on a bicycle, pulled a gun and demanded cash from the victim.
The victim grabbed the gunman's arm and tried to wrestle the gun away from him. The two men fell to the ground and struggled for a few moments over the weapon, but the gunman never lost control of it. The victim gave up and ran away.
The gunman did not obtain any of the victim's property, and the victim was not injured. The victim called 9-1-1 about 10 minutes after the incident.
The victim described the gunman as a black male between 25 and 30 years of age and about 160 to 170 pounds. The gunman was wearing a burnt-orange bulky jacket and a dark watch cap. He was riding a brown "cruiser-style" bicycle.
Detectives are actively investigating this incident, including any possible connection to three other armed robberies that have occurred in Palo Alto in recent weeks. Those cases are an armed robbery of a man and woman walking in the 300 block of Ramona Street on the evening of Jan. 22, the armed robbery of a man in a carport in the 1000 block of Tanland Drive on the morning of Feb. 9, and the armed robbery of a woman walking in the 300 block of Bryant Street on the evening of Feb. 13.
Police recommend that people remain aware of their surroundings when out for walks, and report suspicious behavior immediately to 9-1-1. Anyone who may have information about this crime can contact the 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or sent via text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984.