Suspect sought in Baylands beating

Palo Alto police said man exposed himself to woman, assaulted her boyfriend

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 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 or

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3 people like this
Posted by anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 3, 2015 at 1:11 pm

I am stunned at this crime - why the delay on reporting this as we need a warning (we Baylands users)???

1 person likes this
Posted by We'll get him
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Feb 3, 2015 at 4:35 pm

A warning? More like the bugle call before the fox hunt. We'll be looking for this scum. Release the hounds!!!

4 people like this
Posted by BaylandsHiker
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 3, 2015 at 5:50 pm

I have to admit that I am a bit surprised that this was not reported immediately, and also that there is no kind of suspect sketch to go with this alarming story.

I read about it this morning and there was a KRON 4 van out today looking for people to interview this evening.

I've been a Baylands user at least weekly for decades and have always been alert at the Baylands because there are so few monitors out there. Mostly my concern has been about dogs since people bring a lot of large dogs out there and often more than they can control. But people as well. I have heard stories before, mostly on the Mountain View Steven's Creek Trail of robberies and attacks, but very few and far between. I'd hate to see that expand.

That said, two things struck me about this story after I read it. First, there are almost always people out at the Baylands. Mostly I am talking about the Byxbee Park area, but also over by the Interpretive Center and the airport trail as well. Did no one else see this incident or this person? What time did this occur - open hours?

Also, in all my probably thousands of walks out at the Baylands, I don't think I've seen one case where a couple or a woman were walking alone and decided to sit down on the same bench where another person was already sitting, let alone a scruffy looking person as this guy was described.

The Baylands needs to have more monitoring or security out there. No one monitors anything and as a result there is dog poop all over the place. The contractors and rangers need to be on the job riding around or doing something, or else entrances to the area need to be monitored by video. And even a 911 call seems like it would take a long time for anyone to respond, especially on a trail. Maybe like the phones they have at Stanford?

The Baylands is the best place around to walk and run on non-cement surface with sunshine and "mostly" fresh air ... we simply cannot allow thugs and perverts to make this area insecure. Please catch this guy ASAP PAPD!

8 people like this
Posted by Baylands hiker
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Feb 3, 2015 at 6:40 pm

As a woman who often goes out to the Baylands on my own, I have always felt safe - until now.

There are usually many people about, but there is a dearth of rangers and amenities. I think the Baylands are the forgotten park of Palo Alto, the boardwalk and interpretive are closed, there are no bathrooms and I am often asked by visitors who are not familiar with the area for directions. Signage and bike parking are non existent.

Palo Alto needs to do something to make the Baylands safer since it is so well used. This guy obviously knew that he had a fair chance of getting away with his attack on a couple - so how does that make single hikers feel?

I hope there will be a good follow-up to this.

3 people like this
Posted by Sparty
a resident of another community
on Feb 3, 2015 at 7:27 pm

Sparty is a registered user.

I find it strange that PAPD calls putting your hands on someone,indecent exposure (lifetime on the sex offender registry), then running up to someone and beating them unconscious a "fight."

With that kind of thinking I'd expect in Palo Alto trying to shut your door on someone doing their best to break in will get you arrested for disorderly conduct.

4 people like this
Posted by Mr.Recycle
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 3, 2015 at 9:50 pm

@Sparty - reread paragraph 3, the indecent exposure is described there.

2 people like this
Posted by Sparty
a resident of another community
on Feb 3, 2015 at 11:30 pm

Sparty is a registered user.

>@Sparty - reread paragraph 3, the indecent exposure is described there.


Like this comment
Posted by Katie
a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 4, 2015 at 6:14 am

Probably some thug from out of this area.

3 people like this
Posted by Berry
a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 4, 2015 at 11:38 am

Benchmade pocket knive. Problem solved.

1 person likes this
Posted by ChrisC
a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 4, 2015 at 12:05 pm

I used to jog in Baylands with tear gas .. legally obtained and certified. I highly recommend it.

Like this comment
Posted by Chris
a resident of Mayfield
on Feb 4, 2015 at 2:22 pm

This article needed some proofreading before publication. A couple grammatical errors.

2 people like this
Posted by Stop the Trolls
a resident of Mountain View
on Feb 4, 2015 at 3:25 pm

Thanks Chris!!!!! What would we do without people like YOU?!?!
BTW, "A couple grammatical errors." is not a grammatically correct sentence.

Now you may say to yourself, "Oh please, only a very silly putz who would worry about such a triviality"
You may also be having an epiphany. Go with that and grow with that.

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

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