Palo Alto police are searching for a man who on Sunday walked up to a woman pushing an infant in a stroller, punched her in the head and took her purse before running away through the streets of Midtown.
The assault took place at about 6:30 p.m. on Middlefield Road, just north of Loma Verde Avenue, police said. Officers responded immediately after getting several calls reporting the incident but could not locate the man, according to police.
The victim, a woman in her 30s, was walking north on the east sidewalk of Middlefield and pushing her baby in a stroller, police said. When the baby started crying and she stopped to attend to the baby, she felt a tug on her purse, which she was wearing on her shoulder. Police said as she realized what was happening, the man punched her in the side of the head, ripped the purse off her shoulder and ran away. Several people saw the robbery, police said, and two witnesses chased the robber before losing sight of him as he ran east on Loma Verde.
Police said the woman suffered an abrasion to her ear and redness on the side of her head, but she declined medical attention. The baby was reportedly unharmed.
The man was described as Latino and in his 20s with a stocky build. Police said he was 5 feet 3 inches to 5 feet 6 inches tall and may have had a full beard. He was wearing jeans and a black sweatshirt with a hood pulled over a baseball hat. Police said there have not been any recent robberies in the city involving a suspect with this description.
Police are asking that anyone with information about this incident call the police department at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to [email protected] or sent via text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984.