Palo Alto police have arrested a man who they said harassed a teenager in a parking lot near California Avenue shortly after an unusual interaction with Girl Scouts Sunday afternoon, Feb. 21.
Kenneth Nelson Porter, of Oakland, allegedly approached a 17-year-old girl in a public parking lot on Sherman Avenue shortly before 2 p.m., asked her if she had a boyfriend and made several "inappropriate comments," according to police.
Palo Alto police responded and detained the suspect without incident, police said. Officers also recognized him from a prior encounter earlier that afternoon, on the 300 block of California Avenue. In that incident, Porter allegedly walked up to a group of 8-year-old Girl Scouts selling cookies, leaned down to within two feet of a girl's face and began mumbling to her. The action prompted a parent to intervene and to call the police, who then told the man to leave the Girl Scouts alone, police said.
Nelson, 50, was booked into Santa Clara County Main Jail for one count of annoying children, a misdemeanor.
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.