A young woman walking her dog in Los Altos Hills Thursday morning reported a frightening incident with a man who blocked her path with his truck and followed her as she ran home.
Santa Clara County Sheriff's Deputy Lt. Don Morrissey said the incident happened shortly before 11:20 a.m. when a woman in her 20s was walking near Hillview Road and Hilltop Drive.
"He drove up and tried to block her path, she tried to go around him and he did it again," Morrissey said. "She went back the other way and he tried to block her way. She was able to create enough distance between them and was able to call for help."
The incident occurred a few hours after in Mountain View around 8:30 a.m. the same morning. In that case, a man in his 50s lunged at a 9-year-old girl at Bubb School, on Hans Avenue between Miramonte and Phyllis avenues.
In Los Altos Hills, however, the man, who was driving a new blue Ford 150 with a blue camper shell, is described as having brown hair and a goatee and is in his late 20s or early 30s. The truck had red, white, and blue paper plates, the Sheriff's Office reported in a rapid response email that went out to Los Altos Hills residents.
Sheriff's deputies swarmed the area, searching for the suspect. Morrissey said a regular patrol unit happened to be in the area, so they were able to respond quickly. Residents should call 911 to report all suspicious activity, he said.
There have been a few rapid alerts sent out by the Town of Los Altos Hills over the past week, from the armed robbery on March 21 to a burglary that a resident interrupted a few days later.
"Although it looks like increase of activity, it's coincidental," Morrissey said. "This is still a safe place, we're well aware of what's going on, and we're doing our best to address these issues.
Town Manager Carl Cahill said people may be a bit more alert now because of the suspected abduction of teen Sierra LaMar in Morgan Hill, and he applauded the response. "We had tons of deputies in the area."
Students at Gardner Bullis school were sent to their classrooms, according to a resident who serves went there to serve lunch at the school. Los Altos School District Superintendent was not available at this writing, but person answering the phone at Gardner Bullis confirmed that children had been held in the classrooms as a precaution.
Earlier in the day, police were called to the area near St. Simon School on the report of a suspicious person at 7:40 a.m. Shortly after that, the Mountain View incident was reported. Los Altos Police, after interviewing the reporting party and a witness, determined that the cases were unrelated, and the suspicious person report was probably unfounded. Police concluded the individual was probably a recreational cyclist—wearing a helmet and bright cycling gear—who was waiting to meet with biking companions at Foothill Expressway and Grant Road. He may have aroused suspicions, said Agent Mark Bautista, because he had waited on the St. Simon side of the intersection, not far from the playground, for an extended time. "We came to the conclusion the incidents were not related," Once two other cyclists arrived they rode off together, he said.