Police: Man exposes himself to student during school recess in Palo Alto

Palo Alto police are warning parents about a man who exposed himself to a 7-year-old girl while she was at school Monday afternoon.

Police said the man exposed himself to the child from behind a fence at Ohlone Elementary School at 950 Amarillo Ave. during her lunch recess.

The girl was on the west edge of the school, where she made eye contact with the man, who was off-campus behind a fence watching children play, according to police.

The girl said the man's pants were unbuttoned, and based on the her description, police believe he was masturbating.

Investigators said the man did not speak to the girl, and they don't know if other children saw him.

The man is described as Latino, with a thin build, in his late 30s or early 40s. He was unshaven, had a goatee and was wearing a black sweatshirt, blue jeans and blue and gray tennis shoes, according to police.

Investigators said it appears the man was on the property of the Palo Alto Buddhist Temple, which has a large parking lot accessible from the street, and is separated from school property by a chain link fence.

The case is leading to increased police patrol around the city's elementary schools. 

Detectives are looking into whether this incident is connected to any other cases in Palo Alto or surrounding communities.

Ohlone school officials say staff and parents have been notified of the incident and have been asked to be extra vigilant while children are outdoors.

Palo Alto investigators are asking anyone with information about the case to call police dispatch at (650) 329-2413.

Tips can also be sent to paloalto@tipnow.org or in a text message or voice mail to (650) 383-8984.