Palo Alto police arrested Thursday morning a man who they allege sexually harassed a woman in Werry Park last month and days later committed a similar crime on the Stanford University campus.
The morning of Friday, July 11, a woman in her 30s reported to police that a man had approached her at the park at 2100 Dartmouth St., in the College Terrace neighborhood, engaged her in conversation and then "aggressively touched and kissed her before she was able to shove him away," police said.
She provided a description of the man, and police released a sketch on July 13.
Almost two weeks later, on the morning of Tuesday, July 22, at woman in 20s reported to Stanford police that a man had approached her in the 100 block of Peter Coutts Circle on campus, tried to talk to her, asking if she was married or had a boyfriend and if she would sit next to him on a nearby bench, police said.
When she declined and started to walk away, the man reached out to shake her hand. Police said that to be nice, she took his hand to shake it. He then forcefully grabbed her hand, pulled her close to him and leaned in as if to kiss her. She shoved his face away and he left on foot, police said. She too provided campus police a description of the man.
At about 11:36 a.m. that morning, a deputy from the Stanford Department of Public Safety spotted a man matching the suspect's description walking away from the area and detained him for investigation at Stanford Avenue and Raimundo Way. Detectives from the Palo Alto Police Department responded to the scene and noted that the man looked similar to the sketch from the Werry Park incident. The two crimes also occurred within one-half mile of one another.
Following additional investigation, the Stanford deputy arrested 58-year-old Ahmad Esfandyarpour of Stanford for misdemeanor battery and booked him into the Santa Clara County Main Jail.
Palo Alto police conducted a follow-up investigation that ultimately connected Esfandyarpour to the Werry Park crime, they said. On July 30, the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office filed one count of misdemeanor battery against him for the Werry Park incident, and detectives obtained a warrant for his arrest.
On Thursday, July 31, at about 9 a.m., Palo Alto police arrested Esfandyarpour without incident in the 200 block of Santiago Avenue in Redwood City pursuant to the warrant. He was booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail for a single count of misdemeanor battery.
"This case is a great example of neighboring police departments working together to solve a problem that affected both of our communities," Lieutenant Zach Perron of the Palo Alto Police Department said in a statement.