Police are looking for suspects in two separate weekend incidents near the downtown Palo Alto train station: a Saturday assault on a train platform and a robbery that occurred on El Camino Real on Sunday evening.
On Saturday at about 3:46 p.m., two people accosted a man on the train platform at 95 University Ave., punching him in the face and smashing his cellphone, according to a Police Department news release.
A passerby notified authorities about the physical fight taking place, police said. Officers responded and found the victim, a man in his 50s, on Quarry Road and El Camino Real, about a block away from the station. The two individuals who reportedly assaulted him were gone, police said.
The man told police that he was standing on the train platform when he was approached by a man whom he had never met before. The two entered into a verbal altercation before the man punched him in the face and they both fell to the ground, police said. A female suspect then approached them and struck the man in the head several times with an aluminum thermos, police said.
According to the news release, the male assailant then reached into the victim's jacket, took his cellphone and smashed it into the ground. The two then ran off in an unknown direction. Police found the phone, which had a cracked screen, and returned it to the victim.
Police said the man suffered multiple cuts to the head and was evaluated by the Fire Department. He declined further medical treatment.
The man described the two individuals as a Black man with dreadlocks and all-black clothing and a Black woman with a beanie and a jacket. He could not describe them any further, according to police.
Police are also investigating a separate incident that occurred at about 9 p.m. on Sunday, when a man confronted and threatened a woman in her 40s who was walking south on El Camino Real, near University Avenue. He demanded to use her cellphone and, when she declined, threatened to beat her to death, according to a news release.
The woman, a Sheraton Hotel employee, then reportedly ran away, intentionally dropped her phone and went inside the Sheraton to call for help. Officers received a call at about 9:11 p.m. and met the woman, but could not find the man or the phone, according to the news release.
She described the man as Black and about 5-foot-9. He had short dreadlocks and said he was wearing a white T-shirt, blue jeans and a dark blue backpack.
Police are exploring any possible connections between the Saturday assault and the Sunday robbery, according to the news release.
Anyone with information about either incident 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 via text message or voicemail to 650-383-8984.