A man got into a scuffle with police at Palo Alto's Opportunity Center and caused minor injuries to four police officers before he was arrested, according to Palo Alto police.
Richard Alexander Lay, 24, an East Palo Alto resident, was receiving services at the Opportunity Center at 33 Encina Ave. when he allegedly began creating disturbances over a two-day period. Staff had called police to intervene four times, Sgt. Kara Apple said.
The incidents took place Nov. 13 and 14. Lay left the center at 8:30 a.m. on the second day, just as police were on the way to intervene. He returned at 10:30 a.m. and continued to create a disturbance. Center workers asked him to leave, but he refused, Apple said.
Opportunity Center employees had tried to talk with Lay to get him to agree to adhere to the center's rules, but he refused, she said.
Staff asked police to tell Lay that he was not welcome back and he would be arrested for trespassing if he returned and refused to leave. Officers barred Lay from entering the building, and they repeatedly warned him he would be arrested if he disobeyed. But Lay ignored the officers and went inside anyway, Apple said.
Three officers detained him, and although he was not initially combative, he began resisting. At one point he elbowed an officer in the face while pulling his arm away, as policed wrestled him to the ground. Lay allegedly continued to resist officers. Four officers received injuries while trying to subdue him, Apple said.
One officer injured his hand and was taken to the hospital for an evaluation. Three other officers received various abrasions to hands, legs wrists and elbows.
Lay would not go peaceably into the squad car, and twice kicked at another officer, she said.
"We had a lot of officers out there," Apple said, noting a subsequent 911 brought out additional police because a large crowd of onlookers had formed.
"He was challenging the officers to a fight. It could have been much worse," Apple said.
Lay, who is on probation for vandalism in Alameda County, was arrested for battery on a peace officer, causing injury to an officer (both felonies) and trespassing, she said.