Cyclist attacked, robbed on Palo Alto bike path

The city of Palo Alto, California issued this press release yesterday afternoon. The attack occurred on the sidepath alongside East Bayshore Road on the Bay side of Highway 101 in Palo Alto, CA.

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Palo Alto, CA — Police arrested a man for strong-arm robbery yesterday morning five minutes after he pulled a passing bicyclist to the ground, assaulted him, and stole his cell phone. The victim sustained moderate injuries but did not require transport to a hospital. Officers recovered the cell phone and took the suspect to jail.

On Thursday, April 24, 2014, at about 9:39 a.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received a 9-1-1 call of a fight in progress on the bike trail in the 3500 block of East Bayshore Road. As officers responded, a witness said the suspect had fled southbound on foot. At about 9:44 a.m., an officer stopped the suspect in the 3800 block of East Bayshore Road and detained him without incident.

The investigation revealed that the victim, a man in his fifties, had been riding his bicycle northbound on the bike trail. The suspect, who was walking southbound on the same trail and who was previously unknown to the victim, pulled the victim off his bicycle and onto the ground. The suspect punched the victim in the arms several times, then kicked him in the lower body and once in the head. The suspect took the victim’s cell phone and walked away on the bike trail. Two passersby came to the victim’s aid, and flagged down a passing motorist for help. The motorist called 9-1-1 and kept the suspect under observation until police arrived to detain him.

The victim sustained moderate injuries to one of his feet, and also suffered abrasions to one of his hands. Personnel from the Palo Alto Fire Department treated the victim at the scene and released him. Officers found the stolen cell phone in the suspect’s possession, and returned it to the victim.

Police booked 46-year-old Roberto Navarro, a man with no permanent residence, into the Santa Clara County Main Jail for felony robbery and misdemeanor assault and battery. A booking photo of the suspect is attached.

Detectives do not believe this suspect is connected to any other crimes in Palo Alto, and are investigating to see if he is connected to crimes in any surrounding communities. Anyone with information about this incident or this suspect is asked to call our 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be e-mailed to or sent via text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984.

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