Photo: Joshua Stroman
Originally published as a City of Palo Alto press release –
Palo Alto, CA – Police arrested a suspect on Friday morning for an assault that occurred earlier in the week, where the suspect struck a victim in the head with a skateboard in what appears to have been an unprovoked attack. The victim sustained moderate injuries and received treatment at a local hospital.
On Monday, June 21, 2021 at about 2:51 p.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received a call of an assault that had just occurred at the Opportunity Center at 33 Encina Avenue. An employee reported that one person was bleeding from the head after another person had struck them. Officers responded immediately, but the suspect had fled the area. Personnel from the Palo Alto Fire Department transported the victim, a man in his forties who sustained a one-inch laceration to his head, to a local hospital. The victim did not report losing consciousness.
The investigation revealed that the suspect had approached the victim and the victim’s mother in the courtyard of the Opportunity Center. After a brief conversation with them, the suspect suddenly and without warning swung his skateboard with both hands and struck the victim in the head with it. The suspect then left the scene with the skateboard. The assault was witnessed by others in the courtyard.
The victim and the victim’s mother both told police that they had never met the suspect before and had no idea why the suspect had assaulted the victim. The suspect did not say anything to the victim that indicated a reason for the assault. Their brief conversation was non-confrontational in nature.
Police actively followed up on the case and soon identified the suspect as 34-year-old Joshua Stroman of East Palo Alto. On Thursday, June 24, detectives obtained a warrant for his arrest for one count of felony assault with a deadly weapon. At about 8:30 a.m. on Friday, June 25, detectives located the suspect on University Avenue at Runnymede Street in East Palo Alto, and took him into custody without incident. Police booked the suspect into the Santa Clara County Main Jail pursuant to the warrant. His booking photo is attached to this release.