Palo Alto police are looking for a man who allegedly groped a woman after walking with her for several blocks along California Avenue on Thursday evening.
A woman in her 50s had been out for a walk in the College Terrace neighborhood around 6 p.m. when a man walking his dog approached her and engaged her in conversation, police said. She first saw the man walking with a dog on California Avenue near Birch Street. He approached her near Williams Street and the two walked together for several blocks.
The man starting making inappropriate comments to her, according to police, and when they turned right onto Amherst Street, he groped her private parts over her clothing. She took out her phone and he fled in an unknown direction with his dog, police said. The woman left the immediate area and called police.
Stanford Public Safety officers originally responded to this report of sexual battery at about 6:17 p.m. at 1711 Stanford Ave. After conducting the initial investigation, they determined that the incident actually took place in the 2300 block of Amherst Street in Palo Alto, and Palo Alto police took over the case.
Police said Friday that this case is not related to two other sexual battery cases that occurred in the same area last month; police arrested the suspect in those two cases last week.
The woman described the man as a white male in his mid-20s, about 6 feet 4 inches tall and 220 pounds. He was wearing blue jeans and a light blue, buttoned shirt with the sleeves rolled up to his elbows. He has short brown hair and a closely-groomed beard. He had a tattoo on his right forearm with writing on it. The man's dog was described as a gray and blue pit bull with white spots on each paw, police said. The victim estimated the dog was about 80 pounds. It is possible the victim may be able to meet with a police sketch artist; if that occurs, police said they will release the sketch as soon as it becomes available.
Detectives are actively investigating this incident and are working with deputies from the Stanford Department of Public Safety. Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the Palo Alto Police Department's 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. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through the department's free mobile app, downloadable at bit.ly/PAPD-AppStore or bit.ly/PAPD-GooglePlay.