Another woman sexually assaulted in Palo Alto Crimes & Incidents, posted by Editor, Palo Alto Online, on Sep 19, 2012 at 11:28 am
A woman was sexually assaulted while jogging through El Palo Alto Park at Palo Alto Avenue early Wednesday morning, Sept. 19, according to Palo Alto police. Police said the crime appears to have been committed by the same person who committed two similar assaults in the past month. Related stories:
[Web Link Sexual battery reported at Stanford Shopping Center]
[Web Link Suspect sought in Crescent Park groping]
Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, September 19, 2012, 11:11 AM
Posted by good job, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Sep 19, 2012 at 11:28 am
Good job by the victim to escape from the attack and call the police immediately.
The perp must be in pretty good shape to be able to run away from a jogger. Hopefully that bit of information, along with the physical description, will encourage acquaintances to call in tips to the police.
Posted by McGruff, a resident of the Charleston Gardens neighborhood, on Sep 19, 2012 at 2:22 pm
@Wondering? My evidence is personal observation of the leering trolls that inhabit the public areas downtown, as well as the evidence you your self stated, all the robberies. My wife used to have to endure the most sickening "cat calls" from the bums in the park. I'm talking vile x-rated stuff, at times even while she was holding the hand of our then 3 year old. I know I referenced "Women", but in reality its not one of the more safe town for men either, as you stated also.
There's a huge tarnish on PA, that's why families have been favoring the surrounding cities. PA reminds me of a small town with its own version of Lower Market Street (in SF) Good schools though, but not the only town with that going for it.
Posted by R. Kurtz, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Sep 19, 2012 at 2:27 pm
Hey folks, Palo Alto is unsafe. Most places are unsafe if you are unaware, some more than others. The "stats" that you see don't actually tell the truth, the bottom lines is keep your eyes open and if you use your sense and feel there is something wrong, most likely you're right. The police have got to step it up no doubt and find these people and get them off the streets.
Posted by Wondering?, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Sep 19, 2012 at 3:40 pm
> My evidence is personal observation of the leering trolls that
> inhabit the public areas downtown
Thanks for sharing. Don't think that your observation qualifies as evidence that we can take to the bank. It would be hard to get the exact number of attacks on people from the police web-site, so it's not hard for people to believe that things are worse than they are.
However, if you were to take pictures of the people you call trolls, and post them on youtube, or Flickr.com, it would be helpful for others to see what you are seeing.
Posted by McGruff, a resident of the Charleston Gardens neighborhood, on Sep 19, 2012 at 4:26 pm
@Wondering?. Not looking for anyone to validate my observations, and quite simply, the idea of photographing them would have been quite dangerous IMO. We simply don't go downtown anymore unless we absolutely have to, and when we have family nights out, we go to other towns where we can walk the main street without the "flavor" of Little Market St.
You brought up a rash or robberies, then hide your head in the sand about PA's post dark reputation. I understand though, its all based on our own perceptions. Unfortunately I was unlucky enough to have perceived it. Thank YOU for sharing...the info about the robberies.
Just a few though, right? nothing to worry about...just a few strong arm robberies scattered about. The last word is yours. ta.
Posted by R Kurtz, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Sep 19, 2012 at 4:26 pm
Wondering, I'm actually "wondering" what your position is? Maybe you are one of these soclled "trolls" yourself. If you don't think there is serious crime in PA you need a serious reality check, this place can be downright creepy..even in the nicest neighborhoods. Open your eyes,use common sense, and if something seems just a little suspect call the police. As I mentioned before, the police have to take this up a couple of notches or it will get worse, believe me. R Kurtz
Posted by Jogger, a resident of Menlo Park, on Sep 19, 2012 at 10:11 pm
Thanks PA resident for your support. I was amazed at how quickly the PA and MP police responded to my call. A motorcycle cop and undercover cop showed up right away and there were easily 8 cop cars there within 10 minutes. Too bad they weren't able to catch him but I hope my description helps. BTW - he was bald. I don't know where the thin, black hair came from.
Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto, on Sep 19, 2012 at 11:41 pm
So glad that you're ok, Jogger! Congrats on getting away & having the wherewithal to safely track him for awhile. That was incredibly, brazenly dangerous for him. Thinking on his utter lack of impulse control - what a sick creep. Wishing you the best in future safety.
Posted by The Dad, a resident of another community, on Sep 20, 2012 at 6:31 am
My wife and I decided about 2 years ago that we would not go into DT Palo Alto as a family any more unless its was some special circumstance.
The comparison of University Ave to Market St in SF is spot on.
Homeless in need of mental health care screaming on the benches, drunken arguments at the Plaza and people stepping in front of your path to press you for spare change. Then of course there is the pungent "aroma" of Market street when you walk by ally ways.
Its sad because I have fond memories of DT PA from my own childhood, but now, we choose more family friendly DT areas for nights out. Even if you're not a victim of a crime, its such an unsavory environment. You can't relax if you're always looking up the sidewalk in anticipation of the next pan handler or ranting person in need of medication. We've also found that the issues of DT PA are not night specific. The things I described above have all happened during the day as well. No city is 100% safe and free from these issues, but in PA, its a given while in other cities in the area, it _might_ happen, but personally speaking, we've not had the same issues in other cities.
Posted by Wondering?, a resident of the Fairmeadow neighborhood, on Sep 20, 2012 at 7:11 am
> then hide your head in the sand about PA's post dark reputation
What are you talking about? Can you point to anything printed, or official, that documents Palo Alto’s “post dark reputation”?
> I understand though, its all based on our own perceptions.
The following is crime data taken from the City of Palo Alto’s Police web-site, and the State AG’s web-site:
East Palo Alto: 47
Redwood City: 26
Palo Alto: 23
Menlo Park: 24
Mountain View: 22
Looking at this data on a per 100K basis, and comparing to the CA average crimes/100K (2010: 1949/100K), we see:
City-----------Diff. From Avg.
East Palo Alto: 2739
Redwood City: 647
Palo Alto: 347
Menlo Park: 403
Mountain View: 221
The violent crimes committed in these five cities (with the exception of EPA) are very low. Property crimes dominate the crimes in these towns. (EPA property crimes are fairly low, however.)
The second list is the difference between the crime rate normalized at 100K to the state crime rate. Of the five cities highlighted by the Palo Alto police, only Sunnyvale has a crime rate that is less than the state average. (Makes one wonder what SVL is doing that the other towns aren't?)
We are left with a presentation of what is “normal”, and the question of what is “unacceptable”. Looking at the crime data for Palo Alto (and all of California), there has been a constant trend down (by about 30%) over the past fifteen years.
> Just a few though, right? nothing to worry about
Perhaps you should be talking to the police chief, and the City Council candidates about your concerns. Most people probably don’t see things as you do. You might also spend some time trying to educate yourself about crime statistics, so that you are dealing with facts, and not perceptions.
A final thought .. A Marine Drill Sergeant often tells his new recruits: “Marines aren’t all that tough .. they just go to town in groups of twenty.” If you are truly concerned about your safety, always go out at night with a companion, or two. And don’t forget those cell phones—they are a lifeline these days.
Posted by Wondering?, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Sep 20, 2012 at 7:44 am
> Its sad because I have fond memories of DT PA from my own childhood
When Stanford Plaza opened, there was a slow decline in the downtown area, as some of the anchor stores moved to the Shopping Center, and were not replaced with other stores. By the mid-1970s, the Downtown had a number of storefronts that were "boarded-up", and folks who lived here at the time claim that drug dealing was openly seen on the streets. Families with children said that they would not let their children go downtown after dark.
Sometime in the late '70s, developers began the slow transformation of the Downtown area to what it is today. It's been a long time since then, with the only public records of those times being the Palo Alto Times (on Microfilm) in the public library.
> Its sad because I have fond memories of DT PA from my own childhood
Peoples' memories vary .. it's a shame we don't have more of our history online .. rather than buried in an useless library.
Posted by Oh, no biggie, a resident of the Barron Park neighborhood, on Sep 20, 2012 at 8:33 am
Wondering, how long have you been working for he Chamber of Commerce?(Joking, rhetorical)
I hope you're getting paid for all this research you're doing and not just frittering your time to try and disprove someone's personal opinion with statistics. That'll never ever work. Remember, its easier to fool someone that to prove to them they have been fooled.
From my own take, I'd never let my 16 Y.O. daughter go downtown alone after dark, but not bothered too much by the Lytton Plaza crowd. I did smile in agreement at the Mini Market St comparo. I wish it wasn't that way, but all in all, PA is just fine.
Posted by Participant, a resident of the South of Midtown neighborhood, on Sep 20, 2012 at 10:42 am
I'm so glad jogger got away and called the police! Can't wait until he's off the street.
To the editors, now that we've had a number of these incidents recently, it's a bit confusing. This headline appeared yesterday and was still on page one today. When you use the term 'another' it suggests a new incident each day it appears, which is even more alarming than the number we've had. Perhaps you might say something like, 'Third assault' in your headline so we don't become even more alarmed and confused.
Posted by longtimeresident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Sep 20, 2012 at 11:10 am
Since this attacker has been doing this for a couple of months and, his attacks are escalating in violence, I would hope that the Palo Alto Police and Stanford Police are working together with undercover people to catch this creep. There was a short mention of it on the news last night but most people are not aware this is happening.
Posted by Oh, no biggie, a resident of the Barron Park neighborhood, on Sep 20, 2012 at 11:22 am
Wondering...get out of PA more and you'll see there are town that do not invoke fear, warranted or not. I feel comfortable with her running errands in DT Los Altos after dark with the minor usual precautions. Shocking, i know(!)
Now I'm 1/2 waiting for that statement to get snipped up, quoted and questioned too.
As Rosanne Rosannadana once eloquently said "You ask a'lotta questions!"
Posted by Anon., a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Sep 20, 2012 at 11:27 am
So many misconceptions and off base comments today.
I am male and when I started reading about people being mugged or held up at gun point just walking around on the street it bothers me. It started when I read about a woman over by the Greer park area being threatened in her garage several years ago and then escalated to people walking downtown getting hijacked for their valuable. This is really outrageous.
What can we do about this? I am no weakling but who wants to be confronted with a gun, or confronted at all. I just want to go out for a walk and have to think about this stuff. While actual crime is very low statistically, who wants to be a statistic?
Can I remind people it is not what woman wear that causes this?
Uh ... I'm wondering how "wondering?" above is getting his per 100K data?
> Looking at this data on a per 100K basis, and comparing to
> the CA average crimes/100K (2010: 1949/100K), we see:
> City-----------Diff. From Avg.
> East Palo Alto: 2739
> Sunnyvale: -205
How do you get negative number of crimes per 100K ? It really cannot be less than zero which is it clearly not.
Also, I don't know of any violent crime perpetrated by any of the regular, though unpleasant, homeless people downtown, so I wish people would stop trying to make that case that this problem is related to them.
I do know that Palo Altans are not the peaceful community oriented people they used to be. Every single week now on garbage day i find people throwing their dog poop in my emptied garbage container, and lately even more stuff tossed in mine and my neighbors. People don't bother to stop at stop signs, or to even say hello. I cannot tell you how many times I have been walking to or from downtown and said hi as I walked by someone who looks me in the eye and just ignores me. People in Palo Alto are snobbish jerks a lot of the time ... talk about an entitlement class.
If we want a nice community it means we should be a community ... or is that too socialist for some people?
Posted by KP, a resident of the South of Midtown neighborhood, on Sep 20, 2012 at 11:44 am
We (women) should all have a little self defense training. A great place is West Coast Palo Alto a mixed martial arts school on Regstorff by Costco in Mtn View.
I and my girls went there (youngest one still there) and I really feel it makes you more aware of your surroundings, regardless of the time of day. That's really the key..awareness. Then it helps to know how to jack a guy up!
We'll never completely get rid of nasty perverts, on every level, but we CAN be more aware and arm ourselves.
Posted by Wondering?, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Sep 20, 2012 at 12:06 pm
> Uh ... I'm wondering how "wondering?" above is getting
> his per 100K data?
Used data from Palo Alto police web site, the US Census for City population, and the State AG's web-site for crimes/100K (state-wide).
> How do you get negative number of crimes per 100K ?
> It really cannot be less than zero which is it clearly not.
The data provided was "the difference between the state average/100K and the local crime instances/100K. Differences between two numbers are expressed as "plus" or "minus" (in English: more or less). Differences are not absolute numbers, so differences can be less than zero. So, the data provided should be read: "Sunnyvale experienced 205 crimes less than the 2010 state-wide average. The other numbers should be read: "the instance of crime in Palo Alto was 347 greater than the state-wide average."
Posted by Wondering?, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Sep 20, 2012 at 12:42 pm
> I would send her to Los Alto DT after dark .
OK, that’s one .. any others?
Should have asked why you’d send her to other towns after dark ..
Well .. for starters .. Los Altos is not Palo Alto. It’s most residential, and according to the Census: 70% white. The crime rates are lower, and the downtown is smaller. But there’s more to it than that:
1) Not on the CalTrain line.
2) Not easily accessible to Highway 101
3) Does no have a homeless center almost in the downtown area.
4) Does not have a large university and a large hospital complex, sitting on the boundary of downtown.
5) Does not have a regional shopping center downtown.
6) Does not have 60+K non-residents working within a few minutes of downtown.
7) Does not have two veterans hospitals, that service mental patients, close to its downtown area.
8) Does not have a busy transit hub downtown.
9) Does not have an East Palo Alto close to its downtown (high crime population).
In short, Los Altos is not as “open” as Palo Alto is. They just are not the same thing.
Posted by Cur Mudgeon, a resident of the Greenmeadow neighborhood, on Sep 20, 2012 at 12:43 pm
Since I don't often go to DT PA due to our location at the "struggling middle class" end of town, I can't really comment other than it seems there have always been homeless hanging around there. And of course, the usual drunks on weekends after bar closing time. There are also some homeless in north end of MV--the aroma around the Milk Pail parking area tells me that. I can attest to flashers in Mitchell Park in the mid to late 70s and early 80s, but when PAPD put a community services office at the library, that problem seemed to abate. I remember a homeless woman being severely beaten in Mitchell Park one night a few years back. I try not to walk alone at night, even in my "sleepy hollow" neighborhood.
Posted by Yuppie, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Sep 20, 2012 at 1:45 pm
Hey, old folks! Enough with the thinly veiled racism. Get your slur on. You know you want to.
Additionally, have any of you cruised your mobility scooters up to Market Street in the last couple decades? And you dare compare that experience with DTPA? In 20 years living here, I haven't noticed discarded syringes and prophylactics on University Avenue at any time of day.
Posted by Oh, no biggie, a resident of the Barron Park neighborhood, on Sep 20, 2012 at 1:47 pm
Hey Wondering, don't ask the question if you won't like the answer. I gave you a valid answer and that must have made you angry(funny) so you posted a bunch of excuses as to why PA _IS_ in fact more dangerous...the antithesis to your original premise. Whatever.
On this issue, I stand comfortable and will smile wide while basking warmly in my correctness.
Posted by Adobe, a resident of the Adobe-Meadows neighborhood, on Sep 20, 2012 at 1:47 pm
"Jane" wrote, "About a third of Palo Alto is now Chinese.
People from India are descending on Palo Alto, too.
Pretty soon Palo Alto will become another Cupertino, and there will be white flight. Crime is also hitting Palo Alto"
Jane, you better just move. You'll feel more at home with people like you, those who are complaining about how "we want our country back". In any case, you'll get a lot more house for your money out in Idaho or Utah. Sorry, this country is changing, especially well-educated, cosmopolitan communities like Palo Alto, so you better get out now and save yourself the grief.
Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto, on Sep 20, 2012 at 2:24 pm
Yeah, re the Indians "descending" on Palo Alto - here's one: Web Link
"Local Physician Named White House Fellow" - he even saves lives. Sheesh.
College towns are crime magnets, for various reasons. Please also remember that many, many sex crimes go unreported. If this pervert is the same guy as the Fulton St. & Stanford Shopping Center groper, his behavior is showing more aggression, which is dangerous - that's a quick escalation.
I think the downside to so many recently immigrated to towns is the language & culture barrier. It's harder to reach out to folks when we literally speak different languages & different traditions & expectations, & even when we perceive differences that may not even be there. And of course, people are BUSY.
I had 2 nice traffic interactions in a row yesterday w/in a few blocks of each other. Of course, I had several negative ones on the way home, but but the earlier ones made me smile.
Posted by Wondering?, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Sep 20, 2012 at 2:44 pm
> I stand comfortable and will smile wide while basking warmly
> in my correctness.
If you say so.
What I said earlier is that Palo Alto does not have a "serious" crime problem. Of course, no one has tried to define "serious". The violent crimes are very low, and the property-related crimes are a little higher than we would like. Unfortunately, with people leaving their homes unlocked, and leaving valuable personal electronics equipment in plain view in their cars (also frequently unlocked), these crimes sometimes peak, getting some visibility.
As for Palo Alto being “dangerous”, you’re welcome to your own “correctness”, but the stats for For 2009 for major violent crimes are--
Posted by Big Al, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Sep 20, 2012 at 3:15 pm
Well hello all ye people, I can say that i haven't read the vast majority of the posts on this rather hot thread....I just wanted to say that women should be careful when they enter
places that are highly conducive to creepy predators. I'd have to say this spot is a great place for creeps to dwell. The city should send some crews in there and clean out all the foilage other than the old tree everybody loves. Clear it out. Make it unfreindly to creeps. And put some cops on bikes and have them patrol the creepy zones in town on a regular basis and this type of stuff won't be happening around here no more. It's not rocket science folks.
Posted by great idea, a resident of the Adobe-Meadows neighborhood, on Sep 20, 2012 at 6:32 pm
Big Al, Your idea about cops on bikes is a great idea. The police department used to have a 4-5 person crime suppresion team that could do just that. They no longer have that and have cut staffing all around. City council has frozen twleve police officer positions so if you can convince the city council to un-freeze those you might get what you want. The cops on the street are answering radio calls and the detectives and investigating cases. Palo Alto PD doesn't have a cache of officers available to assign to these details.
Posted by M-, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Sep 22, 2012 at 1:06 am
My girlfriend had her butt grabbed (both cheeks, one in each hand) by a guy in the Victoria's Secret at Stanford Shopping Center. This occurred more than one month ago, not sure when the first incident happened, and she agrees with the description/race of the perp. She said that he did the groping like he thought it was a normal thing to do. Then left the store in a rush.
Posted by 2nd Ammendment, a resident of the Southgate neighborhood, on Sep 30, 2012 at 1:57 pm
For a woman to be secure, on her own, she would need a gun, and be willing to kill the perp. A big dog can help, unless the perp has a gun and kills the dog, then rapes/kills the woman. It sounds like you support conceal/carry...yes?