Violent Crime

Palo Alto Robbery Victim Fights Back And Sends Attacker Fleeing

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A suspect who attempted to rob a man at gunpoint outside of a Downtown Palo Alto parking garage left empty-handed after the victim wrestled him to the ground, police said today. Police said dispatchers got a call around 8:25 p.m. from a man reporting that an armed man had just tried to rob him near the Webster/Cowper Parking Garage at 520 Webster St. Officers arrived on the scene within two minutes but were unable to find the suspect, who remains at large. Police said the victim, a man in his 50s, had taken a pause during a walk along a pathway on the south side of the parking garage when the suspect approached him on a bicycle. The suspect pulled out a gun and demanded cash from the man.

The victim grabbed the suspect’s arm and tried to wrestle his gun away, and the two men fell to the ground and struggled over the weapon, according to police. The suspect kept a firm grip on the weapon, and the victim gave up and ran away. Police said the suspect did not follow him and was last seen on the pathway at the scene of the crime. The victim was uninjured and none of his property was stolen. He called 911 about 10 minutes after the incident, according to police.

The suspect is described as a black man between 25 and 30 years old who weighs about 160 to 170 pounds. He was wearing a burnt orange bulky jacket and dark watch cap and riding a brown cruiser-style bicycle at the time of the attempted robbery, according to police. Detective are actively investigating the incident and attempting to determine whether there is a possible link to three other armed robberies reported in Palo Alto in recent weeks. Each of those robberies involved people walking in or near Downtown Palo Alto. Police are reminding people to stay aware of their surroundings while out for walks and to report any suspicious activity immediately to 911.

Anyone with information about the attempted armed robbery Friday is asked to call police at (650) 329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to [email protected] or sent via text or voice message to (650) 383-8984.

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