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Man arrested for alleged sexual assault in California Avenue tunnel

Original post made on Apr 11, 2023

A man who was sought for a brazen sexual assault in the California Avenue pedestrian undercrossing in Palo Alto on Sunday was arrested Tuesday with help from law enforcement at the University of California, Berkeley.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, April 11, 2023, 8:25 PM

Comments (21)

Posted by James
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 11, 2023 at 9:44 pm

James is a registered user.

Simple search seems to suggest the suspect is a Princeton graduate?

Posted by reduce that footprint
a resident of Escondido School
on Apr 11, 2023 at 10:06 pm

reduce that footprint is a registered user.

Thank you, Sue, for covering our town and getting the word out! And thank you to the PAPD, for pursuing leads, collaborating with other PDs and quickly getting this particular predator off the streets. Note to the City of Palo Alto: this tunnel is not only ADA non-compliant but needs to be made wider so that bicyclists may ride through safely in two directions, and pedestrians of all ages and abilities can be safely accommodated at the same time. Hmmm... Now would also be a great time to add this long-postponed project to the discussions about the future of Cal Ave!

Posted by JB
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Apr 11, 2023 at 10:21 pm

JB is a registered user.

Great police work! That was so scary, happening in daytime. I hope the woman who was attacked is okay and is receiving help.

Posted by eileen
a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 12, 2023 at 9:41 am

eileen is a registered user.

WOW, I am so impressed with the quick and collaborative work by both Palo Alto and UC Berkley police departments. Thank you for this quick response! This perp is a dangerous and sick individual who is now off the streets!

Posted by Screeedek
a resident of Stanford
on Apr 12, 2023 at 11:00 am

Screeedek is a registered user.

But they still need cameras on the tunnel and similar areas. Just common sense.

Posted by Old PA Resident
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 12, 2023 at 11:20 am

Old PA Resident is a registered user.

Would love to see this tunnel get some attention. I use it daily and over the years there have been multiple attacks in the tunnel or nearby. But opening it up so bikes can whiz on through? No thanks. Walk your bikes please! There are lots of us older people using the tunnel and we don't stand a chance against speeding bikes. Neither do the bicyclists - last week a young person came careening down and crashed at the bottom. Palo Alto Police - many thanks and deep appreciation. This is wonderful news to have him in custody and I hope the assaulted women are okay and healing.

Posted by eyeswideopen
a resident of Professorville
on Apr 12, 2023 at 11:27 am

eyeswideopen is a registered user.

Ditto to everything "Old PA Resident" wrote above.

I have hesitated using the tunnel
in recent years due to bikes.

Posted by ALB
a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 12, 2023 at 11:57 am

ALB is a registered user.

Kudos to the woman who is the victim for her detailed description of her attacker. The sketch of this viscious man expedited his being located and arrested.
I applaud the police for their quick action in getting this disturbed and violent person off the streets.

I do agree that cyclists need to WALK their bikes on the avenue as well as in the tunnel.

The city of Palo Alto must install cameras in the tunnel. They could serve as a deterrent. They will capture criminal activity and help in finding bad actors who commit crimes.

Posted by Joey
a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 12, 2023 at 1:08 pm

Joey is a registered user.

Just before this incident, I made a contribution to PAPD online. I now look forward to receiving my PAPD supporter sticker so I can put it on my bike and wear it proudly! Thank you for your excellent work!

Posted by Liquidamber
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 12, 2023 at 1:16 pm

Liquidamber is a registered user.

I've dragged luggage many times through that tunnel for train trips to airports. The steep grade there now is severally outmoded not just for bikes but for those with luggage on rollers. Yes, cameras and separate pedestrian and bike lanes are good but so too would be wider tunnel entrances to reduce the square footage of "attractive" private space for criminals. How about some wide open sunken gardens or perhaps play structures on either end of the tunnel? Palo Alto has been noodling for years about building a City gym. Why not under the train tracks at California Avenue?

Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 12, 2023 at 1:18 pm

Anonymous is a registered user.

Thanks to all law enforcement agencies and personnel who acted swiftly to stop this sexual predator from assaulting more women.
I don’t care if he holds ten degrees from Princeton; that makes NO difference. Prosecute him to the fullest extent of the law.
Public safety is one of the top responsibilities of our elected and appointed officials - and key ones such as state governor, state senator, state assemblymember, some district attorneys are not expressing much interest and action in CA in recent years with respect to this.
I’m tired of laws, policies, directives to police that favor criminals.
Look at SF’s belated weak light proposal this week from a city supervisor to hire more police officers (yes, there aren’t enough but this isn’t the main problem) in wake of ongoing terrible nationally publicized crime there: it’s been a problem for years with millions of taxpayer dollars thrown at homeless (attracting many more), drug, property crime, violent crime but politicians’ own laws and policies inhibit meaningful improvements and prosecutions.
Like many sensible people and companies I avoid SF.

Posted by John
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 12, 2023 at 2:23 pm

John is a registered user.

Absolutely amazing to see the clownish "defund" narrative come crashing down within three years. Hopefully, people have learned something. Likely not.

Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 12, 2023 at 5:40 pm

Bystander is a registered user.

This is obviously good work by both PDs. Interesting to see that he has been in both the vicinity of Cal and Stanford. Could he have just come off Caltrain, or did he ride his bike between the two?

I am very pleased he was caught, but still think the rest of the story could be alarming.

Posted by Mondoman
a resident of Green Acres
on Apr 12, 2023 at 7:07 pm

Mondoman is a registered user.

Curious to learn eventually if cellphone location records and/or area security camera footage helped identify the attacker. I definitely add my thanks to PA and UC police for their quick and effective work on this!

Posted by Native to the BAY
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 13, 2023 at 1:07 am

Native to the BAY is a registered user.

fortunate this woman, a senior in her mid 5o’s was not critically hurt. inform me how a camera will prevent crime over & above mirrors which will, in real time, empower pass through traffic agency 2 see behind & ahead, Which city paid dep will monitor these cameras 24/7? 911 dispatchers cannot leave their monitors 2 help. Melissa McCarthy is not the star of this moving target. delayed EMT response 2 the site! Google Maps deems this boundary as South Cal Ave. How does a East coordinate become a south a direction? Google maps says South. Yet. Clearly Google Maps is WRONG! Many top notch cyclists pass thru the tunnel on their saddles because 1) un clipping their $500 bike shoes is time consuming, 2)!can’t balance
3) dismounting their $10,000 bikes is inconvenient. So “they” & “their bikes”wiz by nannies, infants, strollers, kids, doggies, toddlers, elderly using needed walkers,. I have three words. Mirrors, mirrors, mirrors. Less costly than a city of Palo Alto help wanted” on CL Bay Area. Reality. PA is under a massive live/work/salary/housing imbalance
lift. Shikada apparently is not in need of 1001 staff to monitor. He already stated, he’s under duress directing his 1000 current employees. Though he’s earning 500K salary 2 do such. The tunnel is outdated, inadequate, unsafe, & unsavory. Like the Mayfield/ECR under pass, I suggest shutting the tunnel down. So?! walk or ride to Churchill or East Meadow. At least we are safe & it’s all out on the surface & in the open. The tiny frame of a streaming camera is not the solution. Tired of being surveilled in this town! crime is getting worse & already 6-10 cameras on intersection poles. As if!!! I run to the shelter of my abode where I, my children r not surveilled, filmed, counted yet not socially / economically served. Russia post WWII surveilled their citizens from the interiors of their homes. In Calif surveillance of citizens/residents outside our homes is primary & does not serve as safety on our streets.

Posted by Local news junkie
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Apr 13, 2023 at 7:32 am

Local news junkie is a registered user.

Good work by the police! An aside: What’s with the headline “…may be a Princeton alum.” Who the heck cares?

Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 13, 2023 at 8:11 am

Bystander is a registered user.

Senior in mid 50s?

Stop with the descriptions of people in the prime of life. It is insulting to call someone in their 50s a senior, or elderly.

Posted by Me
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Apr 13, 2023 at 11:41 am

Me is a registered user.

What is the difference between rape and sexual assault?

Posted by Madison Lake
a resident of Stanford
on Apr 13, 2023 at 4:51 pm

Madison Lake is a registered user.

"Senior in mid 50s?"
@Bystander: The minimum enrollment age for AARP is 50.

For some individuals (depending on lifestyle and/or family genetics), 50 years of age is a median life expectancy.

We should all strive to age gracefully and to hopefully acquire a lifetime of wisdom.

Otherwise we are wasting our time on Earth.

Walk in peace and good health even though 70 will never be the new 50.

Just ask Ponce de Leon.

Posted by MyFeelz
a resident of another community
on Apr 13, 2023 at 5:04 pm

MyFeelz is a registered user.

Under the photo, the caption says "arrested in connection with a sexual assault in Palo Alto that took place on April 9, 2023. Courtesy Palo Alto Police Department". Was the assault a courtesy by PAPD, or is the word "PHOTO" missing? Yes I am sure it is. And the Princeton angle seems relevant as to motive ... does Princeton have classes that teach how to prey upon females in University settings? Or is it just that rape culture is a problem at ALL universities? I mean, come on, he's not just hanging out at Montessori Day Care centers. That's not his thing. His thing seems to be honed, and University-specific and I wonder once his photo is exposed and shared at Universities across the country, how many other victims might recognize him?

Posted by Native to the BAY
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 18, 2023 at 12:42 am

Native to the BAY is a registered user.

What is interesting to me is the victim “in her mid 50’s” like me was walking her bike. Like the sight says. Though 90% don’t, including my school age chills. She was as @myfeelz states “sexually assaulted” by another walking their bike in the opposite direction. This was Easter Sunday and a time any of our 55% school age children pass through. I detest this tunnel and encourage my kids to scurry thru on their wheels rather than dismount and walk. Yet this is not NYC Central Park. Our city hall’s civic duty per tax payer Persian is sorely lacking. It appears the city coffers are primarily set up to serve their full time, Union pensioned, benefited employees rather than serving the tax paying residents who pay for their positions. Hard rain is a falling and it is so very light on those being paid to serve. Dereliction of duty. Pay the city un-benefited, minimum wages, temporary. I guarantee we’d get the same result. Or better pay the city per result. Like most other hourly earners get in our city. Someone here once said: City of PA is marching toward insolvency. Is insolvency here, like climate change? Vallejo, Stockton, NYC, Detroit are just a few cities which bankrupted. Right now PA is socially, ethically, communally, labor’ly, spiritually bankrupted. What next? Monkeys flying from our taxed behinds? Get real, get with it, get it together PA! Does not history show you so?

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