A girl riding her bicycle found herself faced with a man who exposed himself from a car on Sunday afternoon in Palo Alto's Palo Verde neighborhood, police said.
The indecent exposure incident in the 800 block of Driftwood Drive was reported to police dispatch shortly after 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 3, police said in a press release on Monday. The street is a block away from Ramos Park and near the intersection of East Meadow Drive and Ross Road.
Police learned that a 12-year-old girl was on her bicycle sometime between 3-4 p.m. when she stopped as soon as a driver pulled up next to her and asked for directions. The girl looked inside the car where she discovered the man had his genitals exposed and was touching himself, according to police. Once the man opened the door and appeared to exit the vehicle, she rode away.
He briefly followed her from behind the wheel, then left the area when a family walked by, police said.
The girl went back to her home and told her parent, who then alerted authorities, according to the press release.
The man is described as a Hispanic man in his 30s and bald or with "extremely close-cropped hair," police said. He wore a light-colored denim jacket, dark denim pants and large silver sunglasses.
The vehicle was a newer silver Toyota sedan, potentially a Camry. The girl told police that the car's license plate included the letter "H," according to police.
Palo Alto hasn't seen an indecent exposure case involving a juvenile in more than a year, according to the release. In light of Sunday's incident, the agency advises parents to reiterate to their children the importance of staying alert of their surroundings and notifying a trusted adult when they see something suspicious.
Anyone with information about Sunday's indecent exposure is asked to call the department's 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to [email protected] 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.