Man allegedly sexually assaults woman while driving in Palo Alto

Police are searching for suspect from May incident

Police are investigating a sexual assault that took place in downtown Palo Alto in May after a woman got into a car with an unknown male, who remains at large.

At about 9 a.m. on May 30, Palo Alto police received a call from a woman in her thirties reporting a suspicious circumstance and possible sexual assault that had occurred early that morning. The woman told police that at about 2:30 a.m., she was walking in the 300 block of Hamilton Avenue when an unknown man pulled up to her in a car and offered to give her a ride, police said. She got in the car and they left eastbound on Hamilton Avenue.

Police said at some point during the next 20 minutes, the man sexually assaulted the woman while the vehicle was still moving. She was able to open the car door, at which point the man slowed down and pushed her out, police said. She went to a nearby home in the 100 block of Pope Street in Menlo Park and a resident called police on her behalf just before 3 a.m.

Palo Alto officers later took the woman to a local hospital, where she was treated for minor physical injuries she had sustained.

The woman has described the man as a 30-year-old unknown race male with short black hair, according to police. He was unshaven and had an "unkempt" goatee. She said the car was a dark colored sedan with a dark interior.

Detectives have been conducting a follow-up investigation on this case since May in the hopes of releasing as much usable suspect information to the public as possible. At this point, no sketch of the suspect is available. There have been no similar cases in Palo Alto or surrounding communities of which police are aware, according to a department press release.

Police encourage anyone with information to come forward by contacting the department's 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be e-mailed to or sent via text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through the police department's free mobile app, downloadable at or


Like this comment
Posted by Hermia
a resident of Triple El
on Aug 19, 2014 at 12:55 pm

This article is unclear about the contact with the police,
placing it at both 9 am by the victim and 3 am by the rescuing Menlo Park citizen.
Did the rescuer call Menlo Park Police? Did they not inform Palo Alto Police?

Like this comment
Posted by Barbara
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 19, 2014 at 1:07 pm

Whoa! Why would a woman get into a car with an unknown driver at 2:30 a.m.? Or 9 a.m., for that matter?

Like this comment
Posted by Pearl
a resident of Menlo Park
on Aug 19, 2014 at 1:29 pm

Pearl is a registered user.

What was this female doing walking the streets at 2:30 a.m.? [Portion removed due to disrespectful comment.] Guaranteed, if you're walking the streets at late hours, you're a prime target for all the wackos and deviants out at that hour trolling the streets looking for victims.

Like this comment
Posted by Joe
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 19, 2014 at 7:29 pm

So if the victim can't even remember the race of the man she claims assaulted her, how is she going to be able to reliably identify her assailant?

The police have to be spinning their wheels on this one.

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