Teen attacked at Menlo Park skate park

Two men steal 14-year-old boy's bike

School vacation, a sunny Monday morning in Menlo Park, nowhere else to be -- why not hit the skate park? One 14-year-old boy was doing just that, riding his silver BMX bike shortly before 11 a.m., when two men approached.

One asked to ride the bike. Turned down, he punched the boy's helmet and back as the other assailant grabbed the bike. The pair fled southbound on Alma Street, police said, and escaped a search by officers from Menlo Park and Palo Alto. The boy was uninjured.

The first suspect, last seen riding the stolen bike, was described as a white man about 17 to 18 years old, about 5' 7", 150 pounds, with short blonde hair, freckles and light eyes. He wore jeans and a gray T-shirt, according to the police report.

Police said the second suspect was a black man about 18 to 19 years old, nearly 6 feet tall and 180 pounds with short, curly dark hair and medium complexion. He wore dark blue jeans and a white T-shirt.

Police ask that anyone with information about the Aug. 13 robbery to call them at 650-330-6300.


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Posted by Raymond
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Aug 14, 2012 at 2:26 pm

Isn't there a Police Station just 500 ft from where this took place? If I were that kids parents, I'd be inside there asking WTF?!!!

Like this comment
Posted by another parent
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 14, 2012 at 3:29 pm

My kids love to skate in Menlo Park and Greer, and I refuse to let them go alone for this very reason. Skating isn't a crime, but it sure does attract some bad apples at times, and as a parent I'm responsible for teaching my kids to be watchful and how to keep and eye on their surrounding - to watch who is around them. All of the skate parks have developed a pretty rowdy gang of bikers who don't follow skate park etiquette, and police DO NOT RESPOND to skate park issues (enforcing city posted rules) unless you have an emergency.

I hope this young man is okay, and recovers from the trauma of being a victim of violent crime. And city officers, city councils, wake up and start enforcing posted rules! Stop ignoring what you post as rules and parents who try to take their kids to safely enjoy these parks!

Like this comment
Posted by Parent
a resident of Menlo Park
on Aug 14, 2012 at 3:49 pm

I've been there watching over my kids. I overheard a juvenile say that he was restrained from being there, but since the cops no longer had a camera there, he wouldn't get caught.

Pretty sure the rules ban bikes; it's for skateboards only. But, nobody enforces the rules.

A camera would act as a deterrent and allow the cops to gather evidence of crimes when necessary. The cops don't have the staff to watch over this park. The parks department should do so. It's not unlike a pool that requires lifeguards. The risk of injury is significantly greater than other sports fields and courts.

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Posted by Mohammed Ziwziw
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 15, 2012 at 10:59 am

Very sad. No wonder parks are mostly vacant and Facebook/Google Plus/twitter are full.
When I was growing up, we never had to be watched, the parks were the safest place to be. Now I have to keep an eagle eye on my kids. Parks are becoming primarily a hangout for drug dealers, homeless, thieves, and dropout.
and I do sadly think that a camera can help deter some but not all. I guess better something than nothing/

Like this comment
Posted by Lulu
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 15, 2012 at 11:07 am

When the park opened, I tried to take my young son there to skate. Even though it's a skate park, it's been overtaken by bikers, who are theoretically forbidden to use it.

I was so disturbed by some of the dangerous behaviors that I went across the soccer field to talk to the police. They had no interest in making even a perfunctory effort to ensure safety. They said that the rules were posted by the gate and that this posting absolved the city of all responsibility.

You see ambulances at the skate park regularly because most kids don't wear helmets and I've heard of a few serious head injuries. At least this boy chose to abide by that particular rule.

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Posted by Marty
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 15, 2012 at 12:26 pm

Victum should check eBay and Craigslist for his bike. I had a friend who did just that a was able to get his bike bake and get the bad guy arrested!

On the other side... wouldn't it be nice if one of the attacker's parents noticed he had a new bike and turned in the kid?

Like this comment
Posted by Kristin
a resident of Atherton
on Aug 15, 2012 at 4:11 pm

As the parent of this young boy, I am disgusted at what happened. We are a military family and move all around. My son bought the bike with his own money, and finally had something he enjoyed doing. It is so sad to see that a month and a half after he bought it, some thug steals it from him. I do hope the parents of the offender sees the bike and returns it!

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