Palo Alto police are trying to locate two witnesses who may have seen a man attack and grope a female jogger Sunday morning in the Baylands Nature Preserve in Palo Alto.

Police were called at about 10:50 a.m. about a man committing battery on a woman as she ran next to the Palo Alto Golf Course within the nature preserve at 2775 Embarcadero Road, police said.

The woman, in her 30s, said the attacker had followed her from a bridge leading to East Palo Alto as she jogged on a 3-mile loop trail that circles the preserve.

The man jogged behind her, at times becoming uncomfortably close to her and when she stopped, hoping he would pass her by, he stopped as well, police said.

As she proceeded to run beside the golf course, the man jumped onto her back, attempting to take her down, police said.

He groped her sexually through her clothing but the woman was able to stay on her feet and push the man off, police said.

A pair of bicyclists then appeared on the path and the man fled north and crossed a bridge leading to East Palo Alto, police said.

The people on the bikes checked to see if the victim was fine and then left the area. The jogger was unhurt.

Police officers spoke to a female witness, described as a woman in her 40s, who reported seeing a man who matched the suspect’s description emerge from a men’s restroom about a mile from the scene between 9 and 10 a.m.

The woman said that the man also followed her on the same trail where the jogger was attacked, police said.

The suspect in the attack was described as a Hispanic or Hispanic and black biracial male about 20 years old, 5 feet 8 inches tall, 160 pounds with clear-colored studded earrings in both ears and wearing long blue shorts, a white t-shirt and tennis shoes.

Police would like to interview the people who stopped to help the victim about the case.

Anyone with information pertaining to the incident may contact Palo Alto police’s 24-hour dispatch center at (650)329-2413.

Jeff Burbank, Bay City News

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