Police in Palo Alto are seeking the public's help in identifying a suspect in an incident in which a woman reported being harassed and groped as she sat in a park in Palo Alto's College Terrace neighborhood on Friday morning.
According to police, the victim was sitting on a bench in Werry Park, 2100 Dartmouth St. at about 11 a.m., when a man approached her. The victim told police that the man engaged her in conversation then aggressively touched her and tried to kiss her before she was able to shove him away.
The victim said the suspect asked her if she was married and if she thought they could become "good friends." When the victim stood up to leave, the suspect put his hand down the back of her shirt and then put his arms around her, pinning her against the bench, police said.
According to investigators, the suspect kissed the victim on the neck and forcibly pulled her chin toward him to attempt to kiss her on the mouth. The victim was able to shove the suspect in the chest and walk away.
The victim told police she last saw the suspect walking south on Dartmouth Street out of the park. Unable to get a cell phone signal, she could not immediately call 911, but was able to call police a short time later.
Police have described the suspect as a Middle Eastern man, 45-55 years old, about 5-foot, 3-inches tall, and about 170-180 pounds with a pot belly. He was slightly unshaven, with short salt-and-pepper hair, and was wearing brown and blue plaid button-down dress shirt, brown pants, and brown shoes, police said.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the Palo Alto police 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413.
Anonymous tips can be sent via text message or voicemail to 650-383-8984, or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.