Palo Alto Police Seek Man Seen Masturbating on Park Bench Near High School - NBC Bay Area
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Palo Alto Police Seek Man Seen Masturbating on Park Bench Near High School

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    Palo Alto Police Department
    Police in Palo Alto are looking for a man who committed a lewd act on Bol Park trail. (May 26, 2017)

    Police are looking for a man who was seen masturbating on a bike path bench next to Henry M. Gunn High School in Palo Alto Thursday morning.

    Around 8:20 a.m., a school security officer reported the incident as it happened. By the time officers arrived, the suspect had left, police said.

    The man had been sitting on a bench on the Bol Park Bike Path, which runs from Hanover Street along Cornelis Bol Park and Gunn High on Arastadero Road.

    The bench the man was sitting on faced the football field but was separated from the path by some bushes, so people passing behind him on the path would not have been able to see what he was doing, police said.

    A school security officer saw the man masturbating from campus and reported the incident to police while another staff member captured the act in a cellphone video, in which a man and a teenage girl are seen passing behind him.

    The suspect did not attempt to communicate with the passersby or call attention to himself, police said.

    Investigators are not aware of anyone who saw the incident other than the two school employees.

    The man was described as light-skinned and standing about 5 foot 10 to 6 feet tall with a medium build.

    He was wearing light blue jeans and a gray hooded sweatshirt that concealed his face from the cellphone video, which police will not be releasing publicly.

    Another lewd conduct incident was reported along the same path on Sept. 30, but farther north toward Bol Park, police said.

    Police have not identified any suspects from the September incident and do not know if the same suspect isresponsible for both crimes.

    Anyone with information about this incident has been asked to call Palo Alto police dispatchers at (650) 329-2413.

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