Palo Alto Weekly

News - September 21, 2012

News Digest

Another woman sexually assaulted in Palo Alto

A woman was sexually assaulted while jogging through El Palo Alto Park at Palo Alto Avenue early Wednesday morning, Sept. 19, according to Palo Alto police.

A man came up behind the woman, bear-hugged her, grabbed her breast and possibly tried to pull her down in the process. The woman screamed and was able to free herself and the man immediately jogged away, police stated in a press release.

The woman didn't suffer any injuries and followed the man from a distance while using her cell phone to call police. She last saw him running east on Hawthorne Avenue from Alma Street.

Police responded with a canine unit but were unable to find the man after a search of the area. The victim described the assailant as Middle Eastern or Hispanic, about 5 feet 9 inches tall with a medium build. She said he had thin black hair.

Police said the crime appears to have been committed by the same person who committed two similar assaults in the past month. On Aug. 20 a man grabbed a woman's buttocks in the 600 block of Fulton Street, and on Aug. 29 a man grabbed a woman's breast in the Stanford Shopping Center parking lot.

"We are concerned about all of these events, but we are particularly concerned about this one, as it appears as though the suspect's behavior may be escalating," Lt. Zach Perron stated in the release.

Police recommend joggers run in pairs or in small groups, run in well-traveled areas, not wear headphones over both ears and carry a cell phone with them.

Plea delayed for suspect in burglary of Steve Jobs' home

Kariem McFarlin, the Alameda man charged with burglarizing the Palo Alto home of Apple's late co-founder Steve Jobs, will wait at least another month before entering a plea.

McFarlin, who was arrested Aug. 2 and charged with stealing iPads, iPods, jewelry and Jobs' wallet from the Waverley Street home, made a brief appearance in a Palo Alto courtroom Sept. 19 for his scheduled plea hearing. But for the second time since his arrest, the plea was postponed.

McFarlin's attorney, James Kellenberger, requested that the plea date be moved to Oct. 17 to give him time to review new information that he has recently received in discovery. Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Thang Nguyen Barrett granted Kellenberger's request, with no objections from Deputy District Attorney Tom Flattery.

McFarlin was arrested last month after Palo Alto officers and investigators from the Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team (REACT) Task Force raided his Alameda apartment and allegedly found some of the items that were stolen during the July 17 burglary. According to a report from REACT, McFarlin subsequently acknowledged that he had burglarized Jobs' home and admitted to committing other burglaries in San Francisco. Jobs' home was unoccupied and was undergoing renovation at the time of the theft.

School board candidates' forum set for Sept. 27

Candidates for the Palo Alto Board of Education will share their views Thursday, Sept. 27, in the first of several public forums.

The event will begin at 7 p.m. in the cafetorium of Terman Middle School, 655 Arastradero Road, Palo Alto.

The forum is co-sponsored by the PTAs of Terman, Gunn High School and Barron Park and Juana Briones elementary schools and will be moderated by a member of the Terman PTA executive board.

The four candidates vying for three available spots in the Nov. 6 school board election are software engineer Ken Dauber, parent educator Heidi Emberling and incumbents Melissa Baten Caswell and Camille Townsend.

Several other school board candidates' forums have been announced, including a Wednesday, Oct. 3, event cosponsored by the League of Women Voters and the PTA Council of Palo Alto; and a Monday, Oct. 8, session sponsored by the Community Advisory Committee for Special Education.

Both of those events will begin at 7 p.m. in the boardroom of Palo Alto school district headquarters, 25 Churchill Ave.

An Oct. 10 school board candidates' forum is planned for 7 p.m. in the English Resource Center (ERC) adjacent to the Palo Alto High School Library. That event is cosponsored by Paly's Student Equity Action Network and Parents Advocating Student Success.

— Palo Alto Weekly staff

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