Palo Alto police arrested a man over the weekend who they said exposed himself to a woman in the Palo Alto Baylands in January and then repeatedly punched her boyfriend in the face, knocking him unconscious.
Aaron Dennis Womack, 26, of East Palo Alto, was arrested without incident on Sunday, July 19, at about 10:20 p.m. at a Bryant Street parking garage, police said. He was charged with one count of felony assault with a deadly weapon and one misdemeanor count of indecent exposure, police said.
The assault reportedly took place on the afternoon of Jan. 21 in the open-space preserve. The victims, a man in his 20s and an adult woman in her late teens, had been walking 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.
The couple had a brief conversation with Womack, who was also sitting on the bench, before he began to pat down the male victim as if looking for a weapon, police said. The couple stood up and began to walk away, but after the two were about 40 yards away, Womack allegedly 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 police, but Womack 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." The man quickly came to and was able to get away from the assailant. The couple then walked to the interpretive center and called police, who arrived to the scene but could not find the suspect.
The male victim 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. The female victim did not participate in the fight and did not suffer any injuries.
Police worked with the couple and were eventually able to identify the suspect as Womack. Detectives presented the case to the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office for review, and obtained an arrest warrant for Womack on July 8.
In September 2010, Womack was arrested for allegedly stabbing his stepfather at Palo Alto's Town & Country Village shopping center. Womack called 911 to report the stabbing, according to police.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the police department's 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or sent via text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984.