News

Brutal attack, robbery on El Camino Park path

Robber or robbers hit, kick victim before stealing undisclosed amount of money from man's wallet

A man walking through El Camino Park in Palo Alto was brutally attacked and robbed by one or more persons shortly before midnight Tuesday, police reported.

Palo Alto Agent Rich Bullerjahn reported that the man was walking toward the VTA bus station on the pedestrian/bike path between the station and El Camino Real when he was hit on the head with a hard object and forced to the ground.

He was then hit and kicked several times before the robber or robbers took an undisclosed amount of money from his wallet, Bullerjahn reported.

The victim was able to walk back north to the Stanford Park Hotel in Menlo Park, where staff members called Menlo Park police, who at 11:41 p.m. contacted Palo Alto police, Bullerjahn said.

The man could only report that one of the suspects was male and spoke English, Bullerjahn said.

He was taken to Stanford Hospital where he was treated for multiple non-life-threatening wounds to his head and face. Possible witnesses or anyone with information relevant to the crime are asked to call 650-329-2406.

-- Palo Alto Weekly staff

Comments

Posted by joe, a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 23, 2008 at 2:17 pm


Time to install CCTVs around Palo Alto


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 23, 2008 at 2:23 pm

Here here. We need a deterrent that works and a method of identifying the culprits.


Posted by Gene, a resident of Ventura
on Apr 23, 2008 at 3:23 pm

El Camino Park is a very dangerous area at night. There are a lot of bums who congregate there, and some of them are very rude and obnoxious. They get drunk, and act like they own the place. I don't go there anymore. It is even worse than Downtown.


Posted by trudy, a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 23, 2008 at 4:58 pm

I hope he is doing okay.


Posted by Ada, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 23, 2008 at 5:04 pm

How does Palo Alto crime and incidents rate compares to Los Altos, Menlo Park, Atherton, Portola Valley? I just have a feeling that Palo Alto is by far worse than those cities...


Posted by Vince, a resident of Professorville
on Apr 23, 2008 at 7:49 pm

Dear Ada,

I would think that PA has a higher crime rate, considering that the demographic is completely different than the communities you mentioned, that the population is more than twice the size, and that PA is a destination point for employment, Stanford University, and one of the peninsula transit hubs. You might as well compare to SF, SJ and Oakland.


Posted by Ada, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 23, 2008 at 8:17 pm

ok, how do we compare against Berkeley then


Posted by Vince, a resident of Professorville
on Apr 23, 2008 at 8:27 pm

A better comparison, no doubt. Look it up and let us know.


Posted by Rogue Trader, a resident of Green Acres
on Apr 23, 2008 at 8:51 pm

This is a nice site that compares crime rates among cities, adjusted per 100,000 people. Here is Palo Alto vs. Los Altos. Just type in any other city you're interested in

Web Link


Posted by Anonymous, a resident of Community Center
on Apr 23, 2008 at 9:04 pm

Now that I am white haired and use a cane, unlike when I moved here fifty years ago and was young and was not unafraid, I no longer take walks in my neighborhood alone anymore since a woman was held up with a silver handgun on Harker about four weeks ago at 11:00 in the morning. I no longer go downtown. I buckle up my purse with the baby straps of the grocery basket. I will no longer go to a grocery store alone and wrestle with cane, grocery bags, and the car keys. My purse was stolen at Safeway Midtown ten years ago. All the doors are locked all the time and when I'm on the patio alone, I have the phone next to me. I hate living like this, and I no longer want to live here. I am really afraid now,.


Posted by Long Time Resident, a resident of Professorville
on Apr 24, 2008 at 12:49 am

And people are leaving. The crime, the over rated schools, the constant razing of homes in all the neighborhoods. There is no peace, no solitude, and diversity has left us with no charm at all. We all shut our door and mind our own ethnicites. We too are thinking of moving. This is not a friendly place. And they plan to build more high density housing to pack even more people in with affordable housing too.


Posted by JS, a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 24, 2008 at 9:43 am

If you read this website daily we are constantly reading about crimes committed in PA by EPA residents. We are so close to a city that has the highest crime rate around and it funnels over to our city everyday. If you go to the search box and type in "EPA" you will be amazed at all the articles on crimes related to EPA. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]Their state of crime emergency has become our emergency as well. It's very sad.


Posted by Craig, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 24, 2008 at 9:46 am

I don't think its quite that bad, Long Time Resident. First, people who do single-family tear-downs are good for the area, because they are making an enormous investment in living here. They could live in a bigger "mcmansion" elsewhere - they come for the schools and location. New high density housing is much more of a problem. Also, real estate values continue to rise here in PA, which means that people who leave are being replaced with more people who are competing to live here.
As far as shutting your door to different ethnicities - that hasn't been my experience. I'm a white dude, and I've managed to meet and become friendly with many different sorts of people in my neighborhood. Also, I think that self-imposed segregation is unfortunate but part of human nature. You have to work hard to get out of that mentality, and its rewarding when you do!
Now, I am very concerned about an increase in crime - though we need a little more time and data to see if the rise is really statistically significant. I'm worried about the future for sure.
I think the bottom line is that there are a lot of people here that have a great deal invested in living here, and we should not tolerate the kind of bureaucratic, politically correct mediocrity that seems to be going on in city hall. Someone needs to step up and demand that our local government focus on fundamentally important things like public safety. It should be a no-brainer, but apparently, its not.


Posted by Pete, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 24, 2008 at 12:07 pm

Rogue Trader: Using the website you suggest, Palo Alto has a better crime rate than Redwood City and Mountain View. It is about equal with Menlo Park and is worse than Atherton, Portola Valley and Los Altos. Just about what you'd expect. Of course Nationally we are much better off.


Posted by Rogue Trader, a resident of Palo Alto Orchards
on Apr 24, 2008 at 1:14 pm

Pete: Palo Alto's crime rate is actually much better than Menlo Park's in those areas that worry people the most - rape, robbery, aggravated assault, etc.

Web Link

Palo Alto does log a lot of burglaries and theft, but I believe the majority of those are concentrated on the Stanford campus and Stanford Shopping Center. These are crimes, but not necessarily the "violent" type that worry most people (e.g. bike thefts on campus, petty theft, shoplifting from Stanford Shopping Center)


Posted by Casey, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 24, 2008 at 1:53 pm

Think of it this way. The constant razing of homes triggers increased property taxes. Nothing better than a self-selected population willing to pay MORE taxes.


Posted by jill, a resident of Professorville
on Apr 24, 2008 at 3:53 pm



the crime data referenced is years old.

The current violent and armed robbery crime way in PA is a result of the Violent Crime Emergency in EPA.

Criminals who were put in jail during their last crime wave are now coming back onto the streets they are lethal gang thugs often with automatic weapons.

the last time this happened they had to bring in the DEA, who had heavy weapons training, to combat them


Posted by sara, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Apr 24, 2008 at 5:24 pm



take a look at EPA vs Palo Alto Web Link


Posted by Whatever, a resident of another community
on Apr 24, 2008 at 6:22 pm

I blame Lynne Johnson 100%. Before she became Chief of police, crime was kept under control. We had incidents, but now weekly, or daily ones that we are all reading about. What is she doing now, spending all her time finding a new building for the PD and having expensive lunches downtown (I personally saw her this week doing so)? She is taking all the manpower to concentrate on the children's theater burglary instead of making officers available to deter crimes such as these. This is getting ridiculous!!


Posted by Ted, a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 24, 2008 at 6:36 pm

Chief Johnson has to go. There have been too many uproars under her administration. It was then Mayor Judy Kleinberg who raised an uproar about rising crime and emergency preparedness - but when she left it got sidetracked. Mayor Yoriko went green and Mayor Klein wants civic engagement!! First things first. Get this crime under control now.

The residents are getting so fed up with the PAPD that no bond issue could pass for this
grandiose Police Bldg. So the city is doing an end run - no vote. Just build it. Is it time for
a recall before things get any worse? if there is a petition, I'll hit the streets.


Posted by John, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Apr 24, 2008 at 11:27 pm

The perception is that crime has increased in Palo Alto. What has increased is the reporting of crime and the blogs.

I support Lynne Johnson. It is not her fault that the number of police officers is down. Like all Police Departments the PAPD is having a tough time recruiting qualified candidates to be Police Officers.

Ted, Annette Ashton of the Midtown Association is doing a great job with Emergency Preparedness. She would like some help, perhaps you could volunteer.


Posted by Whatever, a resident of another community
on Apr 25, 2008 at 12:40 am

John, I respect your opinion, but as a former member of PAPD (10 years) I can tell you that there is a reason why Ms. Johnson was passed up for promotion from assistant chief to police chief several times before she got the position. Like I posted before, she has done absolutely nothing to even address the rise of crime in the City since she became chief. All she has done in public is announcing that she is on top of the children's theater investigation and the police building business. PAPD has ALWAYS been down on police officers as far as I know. We worked understaffed through many years and still...the only big crimes that happened in our City were the Bert Kay homicide and other murders that the public forgot about by now. These everyday crimes were not as common when people like Dwyer, Zurker, or Durkin were chiefs. Lynne Johnson is looking out for her best interest since she is about to retire and she needs to go!!


Posted by John, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Apr 25, 2008 at 8:20 am

Whatever: Crime is up all over the Bay Area it is definitely not specific to Palo Alto or Lynne Johnson.

We should support her and help the Police all we can rather than lash out with endless criticism. Police works is probably one of the toughest jobs you can do, and it's getting tougher.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 25, 2008 at 11:24 am

I'm not sure I'd walk through El Camino Park after dark with so many vagrants hanging around under the El Camino bridge over the creek.

Isn't that the park where the city plans to install their back-up underground water system?


Posted by Lisa, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 25, 2008 at 11:34 am

Isn't that rather dump to walk through El Camino Park after dark? The vagrants hang out near the creek under the El Camino bridge and the soup kitchen on the other side of the Park, not a place I'd walk even in daylight.

Isn't that the park where the City plans to install their underground reserve water supply?


Posted by Paul, a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 25, 2008 at 2:31 pm

What soup kitchen? I know that area very well. There's no soup kitchen there.


Posted by bobo, a resident of Green Acres
on Aug 27, 2008 at 6:22 pm

Greeting,
I am the manager of website team4power,it is amazing for me to find that your page
impressions is so great,so is there any chance for us to establish cooperation
relationship between us?We would like to put advertisement in your website,I think
maybe it is necessary for us to have a negotiation about the detailed
information,such as price , period.We are looking forward to your reply liangbo636@gmail.com


Posted by bobo, a resident of Green Acres
on Aug 27, 2008 at 6:22 pm

Greeting,
I am the manager of website team4power,it is amazing for me to find that your page
impressions is so great,so is there any chance for us to establish cooperation
relationship between us?We would like to put advertisement in your website,I think
maybe it is necessary for us to have a negotiation about the detailed
information,such as price , period.We are looking forward to your reply liangbo636@gmail.com


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 27, 2008 at 8:22 pm

This story does worry me. I was walking back with two others from dinner at about the same time last night. We were on Colorado where another mugging took place recently. What struck me was how dark it was. We passed some others out walking and could hardly make them out. We need much better street lighting in many areas and residents should not be allowed to plant on verges big towering plants that make dark passageways of the sidewalks.

Not walking in our city, either to get from bus stop to train station or an evening dinner is giving in to the criminals. But, getting more cameras, better lights and more visible police presence can help. I see many police about during daylight, but what happens after dark?

If any of you have big plants on your verges and hedges around your property, I request that you walk down the sidewalk when it has been dark for a while and see just how dark you are making it. Street lights cannot penetrate and it is the perfect hiding place for a would be mugger or worse to step out and do his business.


Posted by Mike, a resident of College Terrace
on Aug 27, 2008 at 8:53 pm

Resident is exactly right. Studies show it's ill-advised to plant anything tall adjacent to walkways. It's become an urban fact.

Put your porch lights on!! It's a simple thing. If everyone did this our streets would be much more visible in the evenings, and more inviting.

I walk all over this city, often in the evening. Some of the neighborhoods are so dark that one feels as if one is in the forest at night. It's not a good thing. Light is a strong deterent to crime. It takes away the stealth advantage of the thug.


If you were a member and logged in you could track comments from this story.

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Touring the Southern California “Ivies:” Pomona and Cal Tech
By John Raftrey and Lori McCormick | 5 comments | 2,932 views

Chai Brisket
By Laura Stec | 5 comments | 2,093 views

Couples: Parallel Play or Interactive Play?
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,248 views

Sometimes "I'm Sorry" Doesn't Cut It
By Cheryl Bac | 7 comments | 1,189 views

SJSU Center for Steinbeck Studies to Honor Author Khaled Hosseini on Weds Sept 10
By Nick Taylor | 0 comments | 736 views