Police are asking for help tracking down a man who they said harassed a 10-year-old boy while he was walking on a sidewalk in the 900 block of Webster Street in Palo Alto on Monday.
At about 3:10 p.m., the boy's parent called police to report the incident, which took place 20 minutes earlier. Investigators said the boy was walking by himself when the man walked toward the boy, put his arms around him without touching him, made a guttural noise and walked away into the bushes near the Webster Wood Apartments, at 941 Webster St.
The boy walked home and told a parent, who called police. The man did not make physical contact with the victim or said any thing discernible to him, police said.
Officers who responded to the area were unable to locate the man, described as a white male, possibly in his 20s, with a clean-cut appearance and wearing a blue shirt.
No sketch of the man is available at this time, but if one is produced, the police department will release it.
Detectives are investigating the incident to see if it is connected to any other cases. Police said residents should report suspicious activity to 911 and parents should remind children to remain alert no matter where they are and to tell a trusted adult immediately about anything they see that does not seem quite right.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the 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.