Town Square

Post a New Topic

Man attempts to grab girl on bicycle in Palo Alto

Original post made on Feb 5, 2013

Palo Alto police are looking for a man who attempted to grab an 11-year-old girl's arm as she rode her bicycle past him after cursing at her as she approached him.


Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, February 5, 2013, 5:09 PM

Comments (25)

Posted by another skinny white male, a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 5, 2013 at 5:17 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by another skinny white male, a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 5, 2013 at 5:20 pm

P.S. I am glad that this girls parents taught her to ride a bicycle so she was able to outrun this guy. Is she was on foot, this incident might have turned out differently.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 5, 2013 at 5:24 pm

Scary story. Glad she is alright.

I am sure the girl pedaled faster rather than peddled. The two words mean very different things.


Posted by Carrie, a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 5, 2013 at 6:36 pm

Carry a can of Mace. They are coming at the younger people.


Posted by XDOW, a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 5, 2013 at 6:53 pm

I urge everyone to take a photo of that sketch with your iphone ipad or whatever. Keep it on you. You never know when you might see him.


Posted by Ana, a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 5, 2013 at 8:28 pm

This story is truly scary!!! I encouraged my kids to ride to school. Now I am going to start driving them.


Posted by neighbor, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 5, 2013 at 9:39 pm

A center in Palo Alto attracts transients - have the police checked this center to see if any of the men there match this description?


Posted by Cynthia, a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 5, 2013 at 9:41 pm

How awful! As a mom to a 12 year old girl, I immediately did something I should have done years ago - I went onto the Megan's Law site and typed in my own zip code of 94301. I urge everyone to do the same. There are 6 registered sex offenders right HERE and now I know what they look like.

Just a good thing to do. Let's stay alert, watch over ALL our kids and help them feel safe.


Posted by Ana, a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 5, 2013 at 10:08 pm

Great idea Cynthia. I just went to the site but I was not able to do the search. Can you share thd link that you used? Thanks


Posted by Hanna, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 5, 2013 at 10:24 pm

Ana,
Why does an incident like this change your view about your kids biking to and from school? In the morning and when school gets out in mid-afternoon, there are lots of eyes on the street!

Truth is that many more kids are injured or killed as passengers than abducted by strangers. But since most of us drive every day, we underestimate the risk of injury inside that familiar metal box, and wildly overestimate the risk of abduction by strangers.

Plus this incident is reported to have occurred at 5:16 pm. Sunset was at 5:38 today. So if your middle school student doesn't have a buddy to ride with at that hour, maybe it's a rational choice to pick them up.

I agree with the comment above: "I am glad that this girl's parents taught her to ride a bicycle so she was able to outrun this guy." She also screamed loudly, which may also be a sign of wise parenting.


Posted by resident, a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 5, 2013 at 10:43 pm

If you're afraid of stuff happening to your kids when they bike to school, then just bike along with them. Maybe do some errands afterwards before you bike home. You'll be amazed how much more fun this is than driving your kids to school every day.


Posted by Chris Hansen, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Feb 6, 2013 at 5:42 am

Try Crime Reports if you wanna see all the pedos in your area, and then marvel at how many live within throwing distance of schools.


Posted by Looks Like, a resident of Barron Park School
on Feb 6, 2013 at 8:52 am

This is speculation, but this man's picture looks like one of the sex offenders who lives on Alma. Would be worth having this girl look at the picture on familywatchdog.us:

Web Link


Posted by Peddle to the mettle, a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 6, 2013 at 9:20 am

Tough to find journalists who know the language. Or is the problem with the copyediting?


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 6, 2013 at 9:49 am

Problem is spellcheck. Peddling is very different from pedaling.

They can edit away at posts they don't like, but posts that point out their spelling errors are ignored. It is hard to take serious an article with such a whopper!


Posted by Mom, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 6, 2013 at 10:28 am

The Megan's Law website is powerful information. I had no idea that so many sex offenders live in our neighborhood.


Posted by Jon , a resident of Midtown
on Feb 6, 2013 at 10:42 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by WRITER, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Feb 6, 2013 at 11:03 am

Girl almost gets kidnapped and and idiots are complaining about spelling.


Posted by David Pepperdine, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 6, 2013 at 11:20 am

The NRA's solution? Give her a gun.


Posted by Raymond, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Feb 6, 2013 at 11:27 am

Is it any wonder that most of these assaults and attempts occur at or near the Train Corridor? Wake up Law Enforcement and clean out those Homeless camps and get the mentally Ill off of our streets and neighborhoods!


Posted by Jon, a resident of Midtown
on Feb 6, 2013 at 11:42 am

I see the Palo Alto Online staff removed my previous post without explanation. I was providing the Megan's website link, as well as some statistics about child safety. I was also informing residents that I am offering free self-defense classes to all students and staff through our local schools. Sorry if I did something wrong... (?)


Posted by cid4houses, a resident of another community
on Feb 6, 2013 at 12:16 pm

maybe they object to self-promotion.
Half Moon Bay Rewiew does not allow that on the web forum


Posted by Tom, a resident of Midtown
on Feb 6, 2013 at 12:53 pm

According to the Family Watchdog site -- but not found on the Megan's Law registry as far as I can tell -- there's a registered sex offender living on Oregon Avenue, roughly 12-15 blocks from the site of this incident. From the photo and description at the Family Watchdog site, this man is a very close match to the description and sketch in the article.


Posted by My Secret Identity, a resident of South of Midtown
on Feb 7, 2013 at 9:03 am

I believe that is character actor Derek McGrath.


Posted by Phony, a resident of Professorville
on Feb 7, 2013 at 6:43 pm

This whole story sounds fishy. There are so many things that are not right about this story that I suspect the girl made it all up. It would not be the first time this has happened. A woman recently claimed a man tried to steal her child from her arms, and now she has been arrested for making false claims.


If you were a member and logged in you could track comments from this story.

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Handmade truffle shop now open in downtown Palo Alto
By Elena Kadvany | 3 comments | 2,237 views

Why is doing nothing so difficult?
By Sally Torbey | 7 comments | 1,034 views

Weekly Update
By Cheryl Bac | 0 comments | 700 views

Breastfeeding Tips
By Jessica T | 4 comments | 688 views

Call it a novel: Dirty Love by Andre Dubus III
By Nick Taylor | 0 comments | 218 views