Police looking for man who harassed 11-year-old in Palo Alto

Boy shrugs man's hand from his shoulder and flees

UPDATE: On Wednesday, Nov. 9, police said that they identified the man in this case after obtaining and reviewing video surveillance footage of the incident. The man, a construction worker in his twenties, gave a statement to police but was not arrested. The police department will now send the case to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office to review for any criminal charges.

Palo Alto police are searching for a man who allegedly approached an 11-year-old boy on a sidewalk and asked him his name and touched his shoulder before the boy ran away.

The boy told police he was walking by himself along Colorado Avenue during the afternoon on Monday, Nov. 7, when he noticed a man standing in front of 7-Eleven who then crossed the street, stopped in front of him and greeted him. The boy said he ignored the man and as he walked past him, the man put his hand on his shoulder and asked his name.

The boy shrugged the man’s hand off and ran home. His parent reported the incident to police at 3:23 p.m. Officers immediately responded to the area but did not locate the suspect.

The boy described the man as Hispanic with facial hair and a Spanish accent. He told police the man was wearing a blue shirt, but could not further describe his clothing, according to police.

A similar incident involving at 10-year-old boy occurred on Webster Street on Oct. 17. Police said in that incident, a man approached the boy and put his arms around him, without touching him, and made a guttural noise before walking off. Detectives are actively investigating both cases but do not believe that the same suspect is responsible.

Anyone with information is asked to call police at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be e-mailed to or sent via text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984.


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