PALO ALTO (CBS SF) — Palo Alto police are searching for a young man who allegedly groped a middle-aged woman Thursday evening as they walked their dogs near Stanford University, according to spokesman.

Deputies from the Stanford Department of Public Safety responded to a call at 6:17 p.m. Thursday about a sexual battery at 1711 Stanford Ave. on the university campus, according to Palo Alto police Lt. Zach Perron.

Deputies were unable to locate the suspect in the alleged battery but later learned that the victim said the incident happened off campus in the 2300 block of Amherst Street, which is in Palo Alto, and they alerted Palo Alto police, Perron said.

The female victim, a woman in her 50s, was walking her dog on California Street south of El Camino Real in Palo Alto when a man with his dog came up to her near Williams Street, according to police.

The man started a conversation with her and the pair walked together west on California for several blocks when the suspect began making inappropriate comments to her, officers said.

When the woman turned right onto Amherst Street, the man groped her on her private parts over her clothing and then fled in an unknown direction after the woman took out her cellphone, police said.

The man is described as Caucasian in his mid-20s, about 6 feet 4 inches tall, weighing 220 pounds short brown hair, closely-groomed beard and a tattoo on his right forearm with writing on it, according to officers.

His dog was a gray and blue pit bull with white spots on each paw and weighing about 80 pounds, Perron said.

Police do not believe the case is related to two other battery cases that took place in the same area in July.

Anyone with information about the incident is urged to contact the Palo Alto police 24-hour dispatch center at (650) 329-2413.

© Copyright 2014 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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