Woman in her 70s attacked on downtown street; suspect is a transient

Daily Post Staff Writer

A homeless man attacked a woman in her 70s in downtown Palo Alto, sending her to the hospital with injuries to her head, police said yesterday.

Zachary Estrada, 29, was arrested on Wednesday at 5 p.m. for felony battery and abuse of an elderly adult.

Estrada and the woman got into a verbal altercation on Bryant Street, just south of University Avenue, police Capt. James Reifschneider said.

The altercation escalated, and Estrada punched the woman in the head, knocking her to the ground, police said. 

The woman sustained “moderate” injuries to her head and arm and was taken to a local hospital, police said.

Estrada is in the San Jose Main Jail with bail set at $35,000. His first court appearance was yesterday to announce charges. It’s not the first time that Estrada has been arrested in downtown Palo Alto. In 2017, he got into a fight with a panhandler who objected to Estrada playing guitar in front of the old Walgreens. The panhandler said Estrada was keeping others from collecting money there, police said.

Estrada has also been cited twice for smoking in front of the Walgreens, which is now a rug store. And he was cited for assault at the 7-Eleven at 401 Waverley Street in 2017.

Estrada is in the main jail in San Jose with bail set at $35,000. His first court appearance was yesterday.

Encryption delays reporting

The attack occurred on Wednesday at 5 p.m., but police didn’t tell the public about what happened until yesterday in a log of events sent to media outlets. 

Before Chief Bob Jonsen encrypted radios in October 2021, the Post would’ve heard about the incident over the scanner and had a story the next day.