Today, I and my thirteen pound Westie were attacked by a homeless man in downtown Palo Alto around 4:30 p.m. There was no provocation for the attack. He simply walked over to me, in front of Taxi's on University Avenue, refused to allow me to continue to walk down the street and then proceeded to viciously kick my small dog. I jumped between him and my dog and so he began kicking me. He didn't say a word. I called the police but they lost the record of my first call and so, by the time they responded, he was long gone.
I had a previous encounter with another homeless man about two weeks ago. My husband and I were eating at Andale and sitting at the outside tables in the front of the restaurant when a homeless man walked up to our table and started screaming at us using profanities that I will not grace these pages with. Suffice it to say that it was frightening.
I have witnessed some homeless men scream obnoxious and sexually explicit comments to young women who are simply downtown with friends to have some fun. It's horrible to watch and listen to.
Lastly, I have witnessed a homeless woman chase a man down the street in the evening, while his wife and kids watched.
What is going on? The downtown area has changed over the past year. There are more homeless people and some of those individuals are aggressive. I for one am tired of watching the antics of some of the homeless when all I want to do is simply take a stroll in the downtown area or patronize a downtown business. At a minimum, we need foot patrols by police on a regular basis. We also need the police to act when law abiding citizens are harrassed. It's a real free for all right now.