Palo Alto police are looking for a man who they said exposed himself to woman in the Baylands and then repeatedly punched her boyfriend in the face, prompting him to momentarily lose consciousness.
The assault reportedly took place on the afternoon of Jan. 21 in the open-space preserve. The two victims, a man in his 20s and an adult woman in her late teens, had been walking together on a levee approaching the Lucy Evans Baylands Nature Interpretive Center when they sat down to take a break on a bench next to the center, police said. Also sitting on the bench was a man whom the couple later described as having a "heavy built" and wearing a black tank top and sweatpants.
Police said the couple had a brief conversation with the man, after which time he began to pat down the boyfriend as if looking for a weapon. The couple stood up and began to walk away but after they were about 40 yards away, the man yelled out to them. When the woman looked back at him, she saw that he was exposing his penis, police said. Her boyfriend then took out his cell phone and tried to call the police, but the man approached the couple and began punching the man in his face and upper body.
Police said the male victim fought back to defend himself but reported "losing consciousness momentarily." He quickly came to and was able to get away from the suspect. The couple then walked to the interpretive center and called the police, who arrived but could not find the suspect.
Police said the man suffered minor injuries to his face and bruising on his hands and was transported by the Palo Alto Fire Department to a hospital for treatment. His girlfriend did not participate in the fight and did not suffer any injuries.
The suspect was described as a Hispanic or Pacific Islander male, 20 to 25 years old and about 5 feet 7 inches tall, with a heavy build. He was reportedly unshaven, had short black hair and was wearing a black tank top with "Stanford" written on the front and dark sweatpants.
Police said they are still trying to determine the motive behind the assault and are asking anyone with information about the incident to call the department's dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to email@example.com or sent via text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984.
Tips can also be submitted anonymously through the department's free mobile app, downloadable at bit.ly/PAPD-AppStore or bit.ly/PAPD-GooglePlay.