Palo Alto police on Saturday arrested the man who they believe violently attacked a woman in the city's Southgate neighborhood on Thursday.
Officers made the arrest about around 12:30 p.m., after an officer identified him at the Palo Alto Transit Center at 95 University Ave. Detectives had previously identified him as a suspect based on leads, including descriptions from neighbors.
According to police, the 28-year-old man does not have a permanent residential address. On Friday evening, a judge granted a felony arrest warrant for the man, for one count of assault with intent to commit a sex offense.
The man was booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail on that warrant and on a misdemeanor warrant out of Palo Alto for a minor municipal code violation.
The alleged attack occurred on Thursday evening south on Castilleja Avenue, near Churchill Avenue. Police said an attacker came up behind a woman who was walking south on Castilleja, put his hand over her mouth, pushed her into the bushes and began struggling with her on the ground, according to a news release issued Friday from the Palo Alto Police Department.
When the woman started screaming, the attacker began to punch her in the face repeatedly, police said. Neighbors heard the screams and stepped outside, prompting him to run away east on Miramonte Avenue and turn south on Mariposa Avenue, police said.
Police were notified about the attack just after 6 p.m. on Thursday and conducted a neighborhood search with a canine, according to the news release. They could not find the attacker.
The alleged attacker was arraigned on Thursday afternoon in the Palo Alto Courthouse where he was appointed a public defender and issued a no-contact order, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office. He remains in custody without bail and is scheduled to return to court on Feb. 22 for a plea hearing.
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 email@example.com or sent by text message or voicemail to 650-383-8984. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through the police's free mobile app, downloadable at bit.ly/PAPD-AppStore or bit.ly/PAPD-GooglePlay.
Palo Alto Weekly Staff Writer Gennady Sheyner contributed to this report.
Editor's note: The Weekly's policy is to withhold the names of those arrested for most crimes until the District Attorney has determined there is sufficient evidence to file charges in the case. See our guidelines here.