Woman faces gunman during Menlo Park stroll

Menlo Park police hunt for armed robber

A nighttime stroll turned terrifying for a woman on Sharon Road in Menlo Park Monday night (Oct. 3) when she was confronted by a man with a gun.

A little before 10 p.m., as she was talking on a cellphone while walking, a man pointed a gun at her chest and ordered her to get in a car, police said.

She refused; the robber snatched her purse instead and ran to the car, which was driven south toward Sharon Park Drive.

The police report describes the attacker as a Hispanic man in his early 20s with a shaved head, wearing a gray top and possibly dark pants.

There is no description of the getaway driver yet, but the car was said to be gray or silver.

Police ask anyone with information to call 650-330-6300 or the anonymous tip line at 650-330-6395.

— Sandy Brundage

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Like this comment
Posted by kongjie
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 5, 2011 at 11:01 am

kongjie is a registered user.

A possible terrible situation averted by a smart response--she didn't get in the car. The essential rule that crime shows stress is don't get in the car.

However, she broke another rule by walking around late at night unaware of her surroundings--on the phone. Not a good idea as it makes you a more attractive target.

Like this comment
Posted by Steve C
a resident of Menlo Park
on Oct 5, 2011 at 11:41 am

Walking around at 10:00 PM with a purse? Something must be wrong with this story. Still, lowlifes don't target their own "hoods" for these crimes. They target neighborhoods that should be more affluent and where they are less likely to be recognized. Still, they should look out of place. So if you see someone who looks out of place in your neighborhood, don't be afraid to call the police and give them a description of the person or vehicle, Chances are they have seen it before or are looking for someone in it.

Like this comment
Posted by Jon Claerbout
a resident of Stanford
on Oct 5, 2011 at 1:34 pm

Maybe the lesson is this: If your cell phone will unobtrusively take a picture, do it.

Like this comment
Posted by Jeremy
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 5, 2011 at 2:52 pm

Walking while talking on a cell phone marks one as being unaware of one's surroundings. We should be aware of what's around us at all times but especially while walking alone at night. That conversation could have led to a tragedy.

Like this comment
Posted by out of
a resident of Palo Verde
on Oct 5, 2011 at 3:43 pm

well, certain people will always look ''out of place''. who is anybody to tell who looks out of place? that is very prejudicial. automobiles look ''out of place''. should we get rid of them?

Like this comment
Posted by wow
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 5, 2011 at 5:01 pm

@out of

There's a difference between being prejudicial and wary. If you live on a cul-de-sac with 3 houses on it, and you walk out the front door of yours and see someone sitting in a tree outside your neighbors house looking through binoculars, I'd say this person looks out of place.

At the end of the day, it might be your neighbor's cousin who happens to be an astronomer and felt he could get a better look at the moon from a vantage point up in the tree where there was less light, but I don't it would be a tremendous error in judgement to jump to the conclusion that it would make sense to call the police and have them ascertain the fella's occupation and relationship to your neighbor.

Prejudicial? I think not.

Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 5, 2011 at 5:54 pm

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

She fought, she survived. Good.

Like this comment
Posted by JustMe
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 6, 2011 at 11:30 pm

JustMe is a registered user.

I have had people react very defensively and distrustingly to me, and I am not a threat to anyone. I applaud their caution however, and I am happy to try to work around it if they are in need.

Many years ago, while I was living in EPA, I had a car break down right in front of me making the turn from Embarcadaro to the frontage road into EPA. I got out of my car and pushed her through the intersection, and then went back for my car. When I returned to her, an older lady alone in the car, she refused to open her door or roll down her window to talk to me. But I asked if there was someone I could call for her for help. She gave me a number, but then I told her that I was completely broke and would need money for the pay phone. She rolled down her window just barely enough to push a $1 bill out to me. I left her, found change, made the call to her family, and returned to her to tell her it was done and return her change. She still refused to open any part of the car enough to accept the change, insisting I keep it. I hated to, but I had little choice. I left her knowing that the people I had called were very concerned for her and on their way. I never blamed her for her caution, I was only glad that we had found a way to solve her problem.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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