Town Square

Man arrested for approaching Paly student

Original post made on Nov 20, 2007

A man was arrested by police Monday afternoon when he was found wandering on the Palo Alto High School campus shortly after he approached a student and offered to have a relationship.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, November 20, 2007, 9:50 AM


Posted by Paly parent, a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Nov 20, 2007 at 10:02 am

Was this man connected to the nearby Opportunity Center?

Posted by Millie, a resident of Esther Clark Park
on Nov 20, 2007 at 11:49 am

Was this man connected to a nearby place of worship, or one of the shops at T&C?

Posted by Tillie, a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 20, 2007 at 12:08 pm

Regardless of his connections, he was clearly disconnected from a sense of respect and boundaries.

Posted by Willie, a resident of Greenmeadow
on Nov 20, 2007 at 12:19 pm

Maybe he was from that 'other' city - the one across El Camino?

Posted by huh?, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Nov 20, 2007 at 2:11 pm

charged with annoying a child? Watch out, parents.

Posted by Where He's From, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Nov 20, 2007 at 2:37 pm

Where he's from doesn't really matter. It's his actions that matter, and he was at least caught before he did any real harm.

Posted by Nancy, a resident of South of Midtown
on Nov 20, 2007 at 3:35 pm

"Where he's from doesn't really matter"

If he was attracted here by the opportunity center, or one of the local churches or synagogues, it absolutely does matter! We have become a magnet for bums. Some of these guys are real threats!

Posted by Jane, a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 20, 2007 at 3:53 pm

We have our share of pedophiles who own their Palo Alto houses, so if they were attracted by the schools or the downtown area it does matter as well! The most dangerous pedophile is the one that blends in, not the one that stands out... so beware of the Palo Alto pedophiles that come from the other side of East Palo Alto...

Posted by Nancy, a resident of South of Midtown
on Nov 20, 2007 at 4:26 pm


"We have our share of pedophiles who own their Palo Alto houses"

I just scanned the Megan's List. I see only one or two who might own their own home in Palo Alto. I am not asking for names, but can you define "our share"?

You use the word pedophile, but that can be quite differnt from rapist, murderer. I am particulalry worried about a parole who is attracted to Palo Alto, and then does the worst of the worst.

Posted by Joanna, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Nov 20, 2007 at 9:55 pm

Millie, your post made me laugh aloud! Great comeback!

Posted by concerned parent, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 21, 2007 at 8:32 am

"Since he touched the girl"

Why doesn't the city council, school district, the police take pro-active action?

First, Castilleja School the Gunn High and within weeks PA High. What is next?

Is Palo Alto becoming the rapist town of choice?

concerned parent

Posted by Go back to protecting our kids, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 21, 2007 at 9:04 am

Close our campuses..Period.

Posted by janette, a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 21, 2007 at 1:51 pm

Nancy, take a look at the map of sex offenders' residences in Palo Alto. You can hardly find a block without one.

Posted by Ruth, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 21, 2007 at 2:42 pm

For our friends in law enforcement a friendly reminder.

* California Penal Code
647. Every person who commits any of the following acts is guilty
of disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor:
(a) Who solicits anyone to engage in or who engages in lewd or
dissolute conduct in any public place or in any place open to the
public or exposed to public view.... (there is more)

647.6. (a) (1) Every person who annoys or molests any child under
18 years of age shall be punished by a fine not exceeding five
thousand dollars ($5,000), by imprisonment in a county jail not
exceeding one year, or by both the fine and imprisonment.
(2) Every person who, motivated by an unnatural or abnormal sexual
interest in children, engages in conduct with an adult whom he or
she believes to be a child under 18 years of age, which conduct, if
directed toward a child under 18 years of age, would be a violation
of this section, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding five
thousand dollars ($5,000), by imprisonment in a county jail for up to
one year, or by both that fine and imprisonment. .... (there is more)

But. this is more than enough to get these people off the street.

- NOW get to work and enforce the law!

Posted by Nancy, a resident of South of Midtown
on Nov 21, 2007 at 3:20 pm

"take a look at the map of sex offenders' residences in Palo Alto. You can hardly find a block without one."


That is not true! Several sex offenders live on Alma in the low rent apartments, some along El Camino and the rest are lightly scattered around town and Stanford. The vast majority of Palo Alto blocks do not have a sex offender (or even close by).

The scary question is whether we are now attracting some really serious and violent types into our town, becasue the opportunity center and the churches are magnets for them.

Posted by julie, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 21, 2007 at 5:09 pm

A sex offender from Menlo Park hangs out outside the Peets Coffee next to Whole Foods in Palo Alto.
Many people know about him and do not seem to care

Posted by good grief, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 21, 2007 at 5:33 pm

Nancy: You are scary in your assumptions. Opportunity Center and Churches attract sex offenders? Where in God's name do you get this stuff? How about youth sports, do they attract sex offending coaches? ( Yes, much more so than either of the 2 groups you twice as many as in churches), or..gosh, where will it end? Pretty much any group that has children/teens in it, is going to attract "sex offenders" who are attracted to children and teens.

Posted by Nancy, a resident of South of Midtown
on Nov 21, 2007 at 6:54 pm

good grief,

Many transients are paroles and a number of them are sex offenders. Ask PAPD how many sex offenders they actually have control of (as I have). The answer is that ones they know about, and know their locations, they feel OK about, but there are quite a few that they don't know about. It is this latter category that is attracted to places that don't ask questions, and just give them support (like the PA environment, with its churches and the opportunity center). Many more sex offenders are becoming transients, because the law now prevents them from living near schools. Where do you think they are going? Palo Alto is a perfect refuge for them, becasue they will gain sympathy in our town. We are a magnet for them.

Posted by R.L. Stevenson, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 21, 2007 at 11:21 pm


It is clearly time for Palo Alto to protect its own and separate itself from the rest of the region and state. We clearly have the brain power, the infrastructure, leadership, and practicality to get things done quickly and efficiently. It is time for self-sufficiency, time to hold at bay the degenerate hordes of outsiders who threaten us.

Those wishing to enter our fair city may register upon arrival. Those with any criminal record will be denied entry. All other visitors are welcome to accept an ankle bracelet or microchip implant that will allow us to track their whereabouts, and they will be photographed and fingerprinted. Antennaes around the city can monitor their movements. Those who seem to be hovering near schools, parks, or any public place in which children might be found, will be investigated, and will have their photos displayed on large monitors to be placed in various locations around the city. Our city's excellent web site will also maintain a link to this monitoring system so that residents can easily check for themselves regarding the presence of dangerous strangers in our midst. The program can be self-funded by visitors' entrance fees.

It has been noted that some sex offenders already live in Palo Alto. However, with laws prohibiting them from living within a certain proximity of schools, there is a clear solution: more schools. With effective planning and quick action from a unified community, we can position schools strategically to drive these people out. As for those who haven't been caught yet, rapid response is the key. Since our children are the top priority, cameras all around schools and in every classroom would be a good start. Assuming this system works, we also have to understand that crimes-in-progress might be recognized faster than the police can respond. An armed and deputized segment of the community would best be able to eliminate threats in situations where the police might be delayed.

Surely, no one can deny that every child deserves to live in a safe, nurturing environment, surrounded by caring adults who are willing to take difficult but important steps towards maintaining our quality of life. The majority of us who are law-abiding people have nothing to fear from such a system, so it might also be worth observing and recording information about those who are quickest and loudest in their opposition to this modest proposal.

Posted by anonymous parent, a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Nov 22, 2007 at 3:16 pm

flippant, irreverent comments don't help when something REALLY happened to this Paly freshman girl and Paly parents may be wanting to know more about the situation and how to reasonably protect our Paly daughters...

Posted by Prof. English, a resident of Stanford
on Nov 24, 2007 at 11:41 pm

Dear R.L.S.

Please reverentially note that the plural of antenna is antennae. Common usage such as "When do you think the antennae will be operational?"

A technical question: could you please specifically define "any criminal record"?

Posted by R.L. Stevenson, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 25, 2007 at 8:44 pm

My dear Prof. English,

I do appreciate having my error corrected. Please trust that I am mortified at having committed such a sloppy errror. As a professor, you must know my body of work and recognize how I value accuracy and precision.

However, sir, I repectfully submit to you that "any criminal record" requires no clarification. Would you prefer the elongated, "any record of having committed a criminal act"? I see no reason to distinguish among misdemeanors and felonies, as we all know that the criminal mind makes no such distinction. There are criminals working their way up to felonies, and criminals who haven't been caught for a felony yet. Likewise, no need to distinguish between arrests and convictions. The right sort of person would not have been arrested in the first place, and we can hardly be expected to make allowances for the weaknesses of district attorneys or juries. Palo Alto will never protect itself adequately if we show mercy or moderation. Let the fences be erected with all due haste!

Posted by Norm, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 30, 2007 at 3:01 pm

I find your postings more than a bit disconcerting. Most specifically, the assumptions. They raise some questions, and I'm not quite sure where to start.
Can you substantiate the assertions that Palo Alto has "become a magnet for bums" with any solid information?
How many have been drawn here since the Opportunity Center opened?
How many where drawn here by "one of the local churches or synagogues" before the Opportunity Center existed, or was even proposed?
Is there anything else that could have drawn "them" here, or is it only that "the opportunity center and the churches are magnets for them" here?
Does your "them" include the Paly grad currently charged with the crimes involving the young lady from Gunn who was attacked? Or the Stanford student who beat a professor to death several years ago?
What serious/violent crimes can be directly attributed to the "them" recently attracted here?
What is you source on the criminal background of the local homeless/unhoused/transient population? How many are parolees? Sex offenders?
Can you really determine from the photos of those on Megan's List who homeowners are?
Regardless of why they are here, what the attraction was – if they are here, what do we do about "them" now?

Posted by Gene, a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 30, 2007 at 3:48 pm


If you are asking the PAPD to publish numbers for all arrests, and non-arrests (those misdeanors that should have at least received tickets, such as sit-lie violations), as well as numbers for the paroles and sex offenders in our downtown, then I am with you. If you are just blowing smoke, then I am not.

I have been living in Palo Alto for over 40 years. I can attest that the vagrant problem has increased immensely, since the churches have offered outreach support. The Opportunity Center has magnified that effect, no question about it.

If we are going to go down the road of guaranteed support for the homeless, then we must compel them to take it, like it or not. Until we get to this point, we should be refusing to take the burden.