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Man pleads no contest to attacking Palo Alto police officer

Ryan Goodson, 34, led police on a Feb. 6 chase through downtown, tried to take officer's gun

Ryan Goodson, a 34-year-old transient who attacked and disarmed a Palo Alto police officer during a chase downtown in February, pleaded no contest Wednesday to charges of brandishing a firearm at a peace officer, removing an officer's firearm and battery on a peace officer.

The Santa Clara County District Attorney's office handed down a recommended eight-year sentence for Goodson, who also admitted to a prior conviction for assault with a deadly weapon as part of his plea.

Police arrested Goodson on Feb. 6 after chasing him through downtown Palo Alto. Goodson had run from the backyard of a residence in the 200 block of Emerson towards downtown, eventually jumping through one of Da Hookah Spot's plate-glass windows and attacking an officer who approached him.

A struggle ensued, during which Goodson managed to rip the officer's holstered gun, a Glock 22 .40 caliber handgun, from his belt and point it at the officer. Goodson was unable, however, to remove the weapon from the holster so it would not fire, despite his attempts to reach the trigger.

During the struggle, the officer's head hit an electrical box. Goodson also bit him on the shoulder, police said at the time. Police eventually restrained Goodson using a Taser and a leg immobilization device.

"This was a man attacking an officer and brandishing the officer's gun on a Thursday afternoon in downtown Palo Alto,'" prosecutor Victoria Robinson said. "It was a situation that could have gone so tragically wrong."

Goodson is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Diane Northway on May 8.

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