Suspect at large in south Palo Alto sexual battery | News | Palo Alto Online |


Suspect at large in south Palo Alto sexual battery

There have been no similar incidents in Palo Alto recently, police say

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Palo Alto police are searching for a man who allegedly grabbed a woman's breasts after offering her gardening services and entering her south Palo Alto home on Tuesday, Dec. 1.

At about 2:30 p.m., the police department received a call from a resident in the 3400 block of Kenneth Drive reporting that she had been the victim of a sexual battery that had occurred about three hours earlier, police said in a press release Sunday.

The woman, who is in her 70s, had been home alone earlier in the day when she answered a knock at her door, police said. A man asked if she needed any gardening work done; she invited him into her house and they walked together through the house to the backyard. They talked about what gardening work needed to be done, but could not reach an agreement, police said.

As the woman walked the man back through her house, he told her that he also gave massages. She said she was not interested, but he began to massage her neck and shoulders anyway, police said. She told him to stop and that she was going to call the police. He then grabbed her breasts over her clothing.

The man then left the house, driving away in a truck. The woman was not injured and later called police.

She described the man as a Hispanic male between 30 and 40 years of age, about 5 feet 7 inches tall and about 170 pounds. He had short, straight black hair and was wearing a T-shirt and blue jeans, according to police. The woman described his vehicle as a green pick-up truck with writing on the side that may have begun with the word "Red."

Police said that if a sketch of the man is produced, they will release it as soon as it is available.

Detectives have been actively investigating this crime. Police said there have been no similar cases in Palo Alto recently.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the police department's 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to or sent via text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984.

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20 people like this
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 6, 2015 at 6:48 pm

Nayeli is a registered user.

What kind of sick person sexually assaults a woman in her 70's?

24 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Community Center
on Dec 6, 2015 at 7:43 pm

Why did she let a stranger enter her home? So many crimes committed in Palo Alto are opportunity crimes. People really need to protect themselves these days.

7 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 6, 2015 at 8:38 pm

This a good reason why you should hire a licenced contractor.

26 people like this
Posted by Palo Alto resident
a resident of Green Acres
on Dec 6, 2015 at 9:22 pm

So glad you reported this to police. Thank you for your bravery! Your reporting will help others be on the lookout.

60 people like this
Posted by David Greene
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 7, 2015 at 2:21 pm

re: previous comment: What kind of sick person sexually assaults a woman in her 70's?

As the husband of a very attractive woman in her 70's, I take exception to the subtext of this comment. Why wouldn't the comment be simply, "What kind of sick person sexually assaults any woman?"

17 people like this
Posted by Barbara
a resident of Downtown North
on Dec 7, 2015 at 2:59 pm

Right on, David Greene! Exactly what I thought when I read the comment.

3 people like this
Posted by pares
a resident of Barron Park
on Dec 7, 2015 at 3:38 pm

Wake up call not to let strangers off the street into your house. Even known landscapers do not need to enter your house. We always go outside and meet them. Also, they usually will suggest themselves (the landscapers) that they will walk around the house on the outside to get to the backyard.

We also do not answer the door if strangers ring the bell. This could be a problem if they think no one is home and then try to enter the home.

11 people like this
Posted by Sylvia
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 7, 2015 at 5:11 pm

David, thanks for your comment! Women in their 70s, like me for example, certainly don't want to be assaulted. But we don't appreciate a comment implying that only a fetishist would go for a woman in her 70s.

12 people like this
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 7, 2015 at 7:01 pm

Nayeli is a registered user.

@ David Greene: I think that most people understood what I meant (and I am astonished that some people might have read to much into my comment). It is hideous of a monster to sexually assault any person -- young or old. I certainly didn't imply that 70+ year old women aren't beautiful or desirable. Still, I find deeply disturbing that a man would prey upon any woman -- especially one that he felt might be an easy victim of his hideous behavior.

3 people like this
Posted by Heather
a resident of Santa Rita (Los Altos)
on Dec 9, 2015 at 6:59 pm

Sexual assault is about power and control, not desire or sex. Survivors come in all shapes, genders, and ages, ranging from shockingly young to quite old. Most assaults are crimes of opportunity where perpetrators take advantage of trust. It's awful that this man abused a trusting woman

Like this comment
Posted by BP
a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 27, 2016 at 2:55 pm

Yesterday afternoon there was an older man, at least in his 60s, who was going door to door asking to do labor in our yard. He was driving an old Cadillac. Don't know if he was a burglar or legitimately in need. He said he needed the money. And no, I did not let him in the house or in the backyard, nor did he try to go to those areas. We saw him again this morning.

2 people like this
Posted by Dana
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 28, 2016 at 11:19 am

While we can be offended by the conduct reported in the story, I think we need to be sensitive to the cultural differences at play here. Persons from other countries can have very different attitudes toward women, sex and even age than those of us here in the West where we still are under the sway of old religious ideas carrying the taint of white supremacy. Negotiating these cultural differences successfully requires sensitivity, tact and mutual understanding. We need to be welcoming of other cultures in our increasingly diverse multicultural world if we are to continue our reputation as a tolerant society open to others and their cultures, ideas and identities.

8 people like this
Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 28, 2016 at 2:57 pm

You've got to be kidding. Pretty tone deaf in your "we need to be tolerant" preaching.

5 people like this
Posted by @ Dana
a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 30, 2016 at 7:53 am

Your comment is a great example why political correctness has gone to far has gone to far in Palo Alto. The guy (allegedly) sexually assaulted an old woman and you want the public to be more tolerant to other cultures? Wow.

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