Palo Alto police seek man for indecent exposure

Police are asking for the public's help in identifying a suspect who was seen masturbating in his parked car on a busy street in downtown Palo Alto last weekend.

Police said around 5:40 p.m. last Saturday, a woman in her 30s called 911 to report that she had just seen a man masturbating inside his car parked in the 400 block of Ramona Street.

The woman knocked on the passenger's side window and yelled at the man, who then drove away, heading north on Ramona Street.

Officers arriving on the scene a short time later were unable to locate the suspect.

Police have released an artist's rendering of the suspect, who is described as a Middle Eastern or Hispanic man between 30 and 35 years old who was lightly unshaven. He was wearing a striped, short-sleeve T-Shirt and jeans at the time of the incident, according to police.

The suspect's vehicle was a newer black four-door Toyota Camry with tinted side windows and paper license plates.

Detectives continue to investigate the incident and police say they have not received reports of any similar crimes in recent days.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call Palo Alto police at 650-329-2413. Those who wish to remain anonymous may call or text 650-383-8984 or email a tip to


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Posted by CommonSense
a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 19, 2014 at 5:59 pm

Rule of thumb if you ever witness someone doing this in public, or even in a parked car on the street. Walk away and call the police. Don't knock on window, or interfere in any way. For everyone's safety.

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Posted by MYOB
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 19, 2014 at 7:31 pm

That's gross but it was night time and he was in his own car. Why was she looking inside his car? Aren't there other battles to pick?

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Posted by MYOB 2
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 20, 2014 at 11:06 am

I second MYOB - what someone's doing in his car in the dark is his own business.

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Posted by Barbara
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 20, 2014 at 11:34 am

I'll third with MYOB -- indeed, what was she doing looking inside the car to say nothing of knocking on the window?? Good grief!!

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Posted by Agree MYOB
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 20, 2014 at 12:41 pm

I agree with MYOB. It is an unpleasant experience but not everything is a police matter. What a waste of valuable resources.

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Posted by MYOB5
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 20, 2014 at 1:24 pm

Unless something is missing from this narrative I have to agree with the MYOB'ers here

... it's the dark and she's going around looking in "darkened" car windows. You have only yourself to blame when you peer into other people's private spaces and do not like what you see. If the picture is accurate the guy was not bothering anyway and does not deserve to have his picture broadcast to the whole city along with his car description ... I think??

On the other hand, if there was any indication that he was stalking, bothering people, turning on the light, preparing to assault someone ... find him and charge him. I seem to recall someone of this general description at Stanford a year or so ago. Same person?

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Posted by MYOB5
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 20, 2014 at 1:27 pm

By the way "Agree MYOB" ... I doubt any "valuable police resources" were wasted, our police department knows how to manage and prioritize their resources. They have to respond to just about anything people call them about with respect to all other incidents at the moment.

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Posted by prior
a resident of Palo Alto Orchards
on Jan 20, 2014 at 2:28 pm

well, the ''priority'' of their ''resources'' isa following / harassing the same racially diverse bicycle rider . you see them virtually everywhere you go, staring at you . nobody's business what people are doing, nosy people calling cops for every thing. watch out, it could come back to haunt you.

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Posted by As-is offer
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 21, 2014 at 3:03 pm

As-is offer is a registered user.

[Post removed.]

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Posted by ChrisC
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 21, 2014 at 3:54 pm

ChrisC is a registered user.

To those of you castigating the poor woman who had to witness this, calling her a snoop and nosy, you clearly do not understand this type of crime. 1)Men that do this wait until they see a woman or child coming by to start or resume, because that is what "gets them off." You seem to think it's somehow innocent -- poor guy has an urge, pulls over on a busy street, and gives it a go. That's not the case. 2) It was 5:45 p.m. on Ramona, female foot-traffic sure to come by. If one is walking by on the narrow sidewalk, it really doesn't take bending over and peering into a car to see what is going on to detect this type of action. He may have even had the light on inside the car, because he would've wanted to be seen.

Such a society we have now where this type of behavior in public (yes, it was public, not private) outside the home is thought to be acceptable. It is NOT acceptable, and thank-you to the woman who stopped it.

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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jan 21, 2014 at 4:30 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

Yep, Chris is right.

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