Palo Alto police search for sex assault suspects after two women groped near busses

PALO ALTO, Calif. (KGO) -- Authorities in Palo Alto are trying to figure out if two sex assaults are related. Both victims were women in their 20s waiting for the bus and were attacked in the same area around the same time of day.

One was attacked while waiting to board a bus and the other was attacked after getting off one.

"The male actually ran up to her and grabbed her crotch," said Agent Marianna Villescusa of the Palo Alto Police Department. "She screamed loudly. He let go."

A man groped a woman Wednesday night on Alma Street in Palo Alto minutes after she stepped off a bus at the Palo Alto Transit Center.

"Hopefully they'll put a stop to it," said Santa Clara resident Tiffany Taumoepeau. "I've heard more and more stories around the area, on campus and things like that, which does make us feel a little unsafe or insecure."

Last Wednesday, another woman was attacked while standing at a bus kiosk around 11 p.m., waiting for the Marguerite free shuttle when she said a man walked up to her and started fondling her.

"She screamed, she began to push him away as she attempted to leave," said Detective Salvador Zuno of the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office. "He stopped her from leaving, grabbed her, and continued to grope her."

The woman literally fought him off and then he ran away.

"Concerning, just because I use public transportation a lot and I try to walk a lot," said Palo Alto resident Fabiana Barrett.

Transit riders will notice increased patrols in the area.
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