Police: Man follows, flashes woman in downtown Palo Alto | News | Palo Alto Online |


Police: Man follows, flashes woman in downtown Palo Alto


UPDATE: A sketch of the suspect was release by the Palo Alto Police Department on Tuesday, Sept. 1.


Palo Alto police are looking for a man who allegedly flashed a woman Friday evening, Aug. 28, in downtown, according to a police department press release.

At about 9:53 p.m., the department's 24-hour dispatch center received a call from a woman reporting that a man had flashed her while she was in her car. The incident happened at about 8:30 p.m., police said.

Investigators said the victim, a woman in her 30s, was walking on the 100 block of University Avenue when she first noticed a man following her. She proceeded to city parking garage "R," at 528 High Street, to her car.

The man continued to follow her, police said, but stopped near the stairwell of the parking garage while the woman got into her car and drove off. The woman drove south on High Street and stopped a few blocks away to program her GPS system. She could not recall where she was when she stopped the car, police said.

The woman then heard a knock on the closed driver-side window, police said. When she looked up, she saw the man who was following her standing next to the door with his pants pulled down and his penis exposed.

The woman screamed and started to drive off, but the man continued to knock on the window while flashing her, police said. She drove home and called police about 90 minutes later to report the incident

The victim described the suspect as a white male in his mid-20s, about 5 feet, 8 inches tall with a medium build. He had medium-length brown hair and was wearing a light-colored T-shirt and dark-colored shorts. The woman did not see the suspect with a vehicle.

No sketch of the man is available at this time, but if one is produced, the police department will release it as soon as it is available.

Detectives are investigating the case to see if it is connected to any other incidents that have occurred in Palo Alto or surrounding communities.

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 paloalto@tipnow.org or sent via text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984.

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7 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 31, 2015 at 7:41 am

There has been a large number of sex crimes in this city recently, all with similar suspect descriptions (young white man with slim to medium build). Is this an increase in crime or are victims starting to stand up for themselves? If there is a single perpetrator, surely his friends or family are suspicious of his behavior. Please turn him in before these crimes escalate.

9 people like this
Posted by Paul
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 31, 2015 at 9:21 am

Two words: surveillance cameras.

Like this comment
Posted by Shockhim
a resident of Menlo Park
on Aug 31, 2015 at 10:43 am

[Post removed.]

1 person likes this
Posted by Barbara
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 31, 2015 at 11:31 am

Wouldn't it have been better to drive directly to the Police Dept. at City Hall instead of waiting 90 minutes to make the call? There seems to be more and more "flashing" going on in downtown Palo Alto. Regular patrol cars might help here, particularly in the evenings.

Like this comment
Posted by Joe
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 31, 2015 at 12:00 pm

One of these days body-cams will be generally available for everyone. Having a video of the perp would definitely help the police, as well as engaging the public's help too.

And as has been mentioned many times--surveillance cameras would also help the police identify people involved in street crime in the downtown area.

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