Police: Man follows 12-year-old girl, kisses her

Incident occurred near Greer Park in south Palo Alto

Palo Alto police are searching for a man who allegedly followed a 12-year-old girl to her home and kissed her cheek Monday night.

The girl was walking her bike, around 5 p.m., going north on Tanland Drive from Amarillo Avenue and talking to a parent on her cellphone when she noticed a man jogging north on Tanland on the opposite side of the street, police said.

When she got to the apartment complex where she lives, the girl carried her bike upstairs and was getting out her house key when she saw the same man in the hallway of the apartment complex, police said. He walked past her and said, "Excuse me." As she opened the door, with her back turned to the man, the man walked past her again and said, "Excuse me." He then placed his hand over her mouth and kissed her cheek, police said. The girl screamed, and the man ran out of the apartment complex toward Tanland Drive.

Investigators said the girl's parents called police at about 8:30 p.m. to report the incident.

The girl was not hurt and the incident lasted a couple of seconds, police said. She described the man as Hispanic and between the ages of 17 and 35 years. He was wearing a light gray hooded sweatshirt and dark workout pants.

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

Police are encouraging residents to report crimes and suspicious activity and advise parents to remind children to remain alert and to tell a trusted adult about anything they see that does not seem quite right.

Detectives are actively investigating this case. The police ask that anyone with information about this incident call the department at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to or sent via text message or voicemail to 650-383-8984.

What is democracy worth to you?
Support local journalism.


8 people like this
Posted by Concerned Resident
a resident of Professorville
on Dec 15, 2015 at 3:22 pm

So many things alarming about this incident. Incidents such as these seem to happen with some regularity in Palo Alto. The brazenness of the crime is shocking! [Portion removed.] Its frustrating that we cannot do much to prevent these crimes. We can only be vigilant, keep an eye out for each other and hope these criminals don't get emboldened further and resort to worse violence.

15 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 15, 2015 at 6:40 pm

[Post removed due to deletion of referenced comment.]

12 people like this
Posted by more than kissing
a resident of Barron Park
on Dec 15, 2015 at 8:15 pm

The title makes this sound like a playful incident. However, it seems like the suspect stalked the child to her apartment and behaved inappropriately, which is very disturbing and scary. Hopefully he will be apprehended soon.

4 people like this
Posted by Carlos
a resident of Downtown North
on Dec 16, 2015 at 6:08 am

[Post removed due to deletion of referenced comment.]

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

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox.

After experiencing harassment, owner of Zareen's restaurants speaks out about Islamophobia, racism
By Elena Kadvany | 28 comments | 7,478 views

Don't Miss Your Exit (and other lessons from an EV drive)
By Sherry Listgarten | 14 comments | 2,483 views

Goodbye Food Waste!
By Laura Stec | 8 comments | 2,429 views

Premarital and Couples: Tips for Hearing (Listening) and Being Known
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 986 views

Is racism also a local problem?
By Diana Diamond | 25 comments | 784 views


Register today!

‚ÄčOn Friday, October 11, join us at the Palo Alto Baylands for a 5K walk, 5K run, 10K run or half marathon! All proceeds benefit local nonprofits serving children and families.

Learn More