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Stanford and Palo Alto police departments team up, arrest battery suspect

Courtesy of PAPD Ahmad Esfandyarpour photo

Ahmad Esfandyarpour

Palo Alto Police Department (PAPD) detectives arrested 58-year-old Ahmad Esfandyarpour on one count of sexual battery Thursday, July 31, for an incident that took place earlier in July in a College Terrace neighborhood park. Esfandyarpour had been arrested previously by deputies from the Stanford University Department of Public Safety when he allegedly committed a similar crime on the Stanford campus. Working together the two departments were able to tie the suspect to both crimes.

"This case is a great example of neighboring police departments working together to solve a problem that affected both of our communities," said Lt. Zach Perron of the PAPD.

The first incident was reported to Palo Alto police on July 11, around 11:30 a.m., by a woman who said a man had approached her at Werry Park at 2100 Dartmouth St., engaged her in conversation, then aggressively touched and kissed her before she shoved him away. The victim worked with a police sketch artist, and a sketch was released to the public.

On July 22, at about 11:20 a.m., a woman reported to Stanford police that she had been the victim of a similar crime in the 100 block of Peter Coutts Circle on Stanford's campus. The victim reported that a man had approached her, engaged her in conversation and asked if she was married or had a boyfriend. After she declined his request to sit next to him on a nearby bench, the man forcefully grabbed her hand, pulled her close to him, and leaned in as if to try to kiss her. The victim shoved his face away, and he left on foot. That victim reported the incident to police and provided a description of the suspect. Within minutes, a Stanford police deputy spotted a man matching the suspect's description in the area and detained him for investigation. Detectives from the PAPD responded to the scene, and noted that the suspect resembled the sketch from the Werry Park incident. Following additional investigation, the Stanford deputy arrested the suspect for misdemeanor battery. He was booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail and later released.

On July 31, PAPD detectives ultimately connected the suspect to the Werry Park crime, and arrested Esfandyarpour, a relative of a Stanford affiliate, on one count of misdemeanor battery.

Stanford Police Chief Laura Wilson praised the victims for notifying police in a timely manner and for providing a description. She also noted that the police officer who spotted the suspect after the second incident was actively looking for him. "The victims' actions were critical to solving both crimes," Wilson said.

For questions about the Stanford incident, contact Bill Larson, public information officer for the Stanford University Department of Public Safety, at (650) 723-9633.

Anyone with information about this case is urged to contact the Palo Alto Police Department's 24-hour dispatch center at (650) 329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to paloalto@tipnow.org or sent via text message or voicemail to (650) 383-8984. Tips also can be submitted anonymously through PAPD's free mobile app, downloadable at the iTunes Store or from Google Play.