Attempted robberies leave pedestrians injured on East Palo Alto overpass

Police: Groups of teenagers corner men on bridge, demand their property

East Palo Alto police are investigating two attempted robberies by groups of teenagers on Thursday night within a two-hour span on a pedestrian bridge that crosses over U.S. Highway 101.

The first attempted robbery took place around 8 p.m. when a man walking west on the bridge crossed paths with a group of six to seven Hispanic teenagers, police said in a press release issued Friday. One of the teens asked the man for his backpack and cellphone before the rest of the group attacked him. The pedestrian was transported to a hospital where he was treated for moderate injuries.

About 90 minutes later, another pedestrian was walking on the bridge from the East Bayshore Road side to Clarke Avenue where he was faced by a group of six to eight teens of mixed race, police said. The teens surrounded him and asked what was in his pockets.

When the man pulled out a knife to defend himself, the group grabbed bricks laying in the area and threw them at him before fleeing west on the bridge, according to police. He was left with minor injuries but didn't need further treatment at a hospital, Cmdr. Jeff Liu said.

Investigators are looking into whether any of the teens were connected to both attempted robberies, the only two reported on the bridge since it opened to the public last month, according to Liu.

Officers were unable to find any of the teenagers during a neighborhood search or locate video security footage from the area that could help identify them, Liu said.

East Palo Alto police intend to monitor the area to ensure pedestrians are safe while crossing the bridge and are exploring ways the department can monitor the bridge on a 24/7 basis, Liu said.

Police are stepping up patrols at the bridge and are looking into adding surveillance cameras, he said on Tuesday.

Anyone who witnessed or has information on the attempted robberies is asked to contact East Palo Alto police. Anonymous tips can be sent by voicemail or text message to 650-409-6792 or by email to


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28 people like this
Posted by cameras
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 14, 2019 at 1:52 pm

If the city wants people to keep using this bridge, they need to step up police patrols (on foot or bicycle) as well as install surveillance cameras.

14 people like this
Posted by zap
a resident of another community
on Jun 14, 2019 at 2:00 pm

"I have five dollars for each of you"

28 people like this
Posted by YP
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 14, 2019 at 3:43 pm

YP is a registered user.

what a sad commentary on the state of our community. [Portion removed.]

24 people like this
Posted by Barb G
a resident of Mayfield
on Jun 17, 2019 at 11:16 am

Barb G is a registered user.

Any number of individuals and groups wrote and emailed *hundreds* of letters to the City of East Palo Alto, California’s Active Transportation Program (who provided the $8.6 million to build this deathtrap), and even to Assemblyman Mark Berman about the safety issues in building a 300-yard long enclosed space where anyone on it is at the total mercy of gangs closing in from both sides, and apparently nobody listened. They were all excited about the "safety" of a bridge that removed people from the overpass on University.

Honestly, I hope some bright lawyer sues the pants off the city and a few people are canned over the lack of 24x7 cameras and super-bright lights. We warned them that sooner or later people would be attacked, injured, and/or killed, but they just didn't care. At the very least, they need to be paying 100% compensation to any victims of their indifference.

6 people like this
Posted by Hulkamania
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 17, 2019 at 11:29 am

Hulkamania is a registered user.

Felony Bridge?

6 people like this
Posted by YP
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 17, 2019 at 4:21 pm

YP is a registered user.

well the thought police aka the editors of the PAW removed a portion of my earlier comment although my thoughts were applicable to this situation. Let's get tougher on crime instead of letting people play the victim card.

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

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