Authorities on Friday released sketches of two suspects who allegedly assaulted and robbed a man walking in a park in Palo Alto with his young child Thursday night.
Palo Alto police were dispatched to Robles Park at 4116 Park Blvd. at 8:43 p.m. Thursday about a reported armed robbery, police said.
The man, who is not being identified, was leaving the park with his child when two men approached them and demanded property, one holding a folding knife and the other pointing a handgun, police said.
During the robbery, the male victim placed himself between the suspects and the child, police said.
When the man, who is in his 30s, handed over the property, the suspect with the knife punched him in the face and slashed his arm with the knife, but the wound was superficial, according to police.
The suspects then ran away and remained at large Friday, police said.
Even authorities were shocked at the callous nature of the crime.
"It's something I haven't heard of in my career," said Palo Alto police Lt. Zach Perron. "Somebody being targeted as a victim of a violence crime when they have a very young child with them; it boggles my mind quite frankly."
The victim and the child then went to a nearby home and asked the residents to contact police.
Personnel from the Palo Alto Fire Department treated the man at the scene. The child was unharmed, police said.
The suspect with the knife was described as a Hispanic man in his mid 20s who is about 5 feet 9 inches tall, 180 pounds and clean-shaven with dark hair.
The suspect who held the gun was described as a black man in his mid 20s who is about 6 feet 1 inch tall, 200 pounds and clean-shaven with dark hair and was wearing a black T-shirt and pants, police said.
Police are investigating whether the same suspects were involved in a robbery on Monday near downtown Palo Alto.
The Palo Alto Police Department has increased patrols in the city's neighborhoods and parks in response to the two robberies, police said.
Anyone with information about the crimes is requested to contact the department's 24-hour dispatch center at (650) 329-2413 or send an anonymous tip by text or voicemail to (650) 383-8984.
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