News


Palo Alto man sentenced to year in jail for Portola Valley attack

A 22-year-old Palo Alto man was sentenced to one year in San Mateo County jail on Friday, May 9, after having pleaded no contest to felony charges of auto burglary and assault of a 13-year-old Portola Valley boy with a baseball bat in April 2013.

Alexander Stefan Dombovic, who has been and remains out of custody on $50,000 bail, is to report to jail on June 21 to begin serving his sentence, according to a report by Bay City News Service. He was also ordered to pay $3,000 in restitution and serve three years of probation.

Mr. Dombovic agreed in December 2013 to a plea bargain in which he would serve a maximum of two years in state prison, prosecutors said.

The string of incidents that led to Mr Dombovic's arrest began at around 10 p.m. on a Sunday night, April 21, 2013, according to accounts by prosecutors and Sheriff's Office deputies.

The Portola Valley boy had been reading in his bedroom when he heard a car come down the driveway of his home and park near his room. He went out to see what was going on and said he saw a man rummaging through his father's vehicle.

The boy asked the man what he was doing, and the man allegedly yelled at him and charged at him with an aluminum baseball bat, hitting him in the shoulder. The man then fled in a gold Toyota SUV.

Deputies were in the area to respond to a nearby car burglary and saw an SUV driving on the wrong side of the road with its lights off. The deputies swerved to avoid the vehicle and a chase ensued, with the pursued vehicle accelerating to 60 miles per hour.

Mr. Dombovic was arrested after he lost control of his vehicle in the 900 block of Westridge Drive and plunged down an embankment.

Mr. Dombovic, who is of Chechen ethnicity, was ordered out of his vehicle, whereupon he yelled to the deputies in a Russian accent, "This has nothing to do with Boston," prosecutors said. The Boston Marathon bombing had occurred six days earlier.

About 129 pieces of mail from 18 local addresses were found in the vehicle. Deputies reported that Mr. Dombovic used a baseball bat to "forcibly enter" three mailboxes on Alamos Lane and two on Westridge Drive.

Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by parent
a resident of Downtown North
on May 11, 2014 at 7:27 pm

These news articles keep emphasizing that the perp is a Chechen, which makes it sound like he is a foreigner. How thick is his accent really? He has been living here for many years and attended high school locally, right?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by local
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on May 11, 2014 at 7:44 pm

He graduated from Mid Penn in 2011.

While there are many talented, well behaved students at Mid Penn, it is also the destination for many who struggled behaviorally at Paly, Gunn, or other local high schools.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on May 11, 2014 at 8:25 pm

Emphasizing that he is Chechen?? Maybe an aside in the second to last paragraph as a possible explanation of what he yelled at the arresting deputies. The emphasis here is the first paragraph calling him a Palo Altan with a baseball bat assaulting a boy and burglarizing an auto. Also that he's free to party until June 21. No mention that he will probably be out before Christmas, ready to make a positive contribution to society.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Silly
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 12, 2014 at 12:21 am

And what does he get for mail theft from 18 addresses? A year sounds like too little.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on May 12, 2014 at 5:20 am

Mail theft looks like circumstantial evidence. Useless to prosecute without witnesses.

"No contest" means this guy isn't owning up to anything.

Won't even lose his voting rights.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Throw the book in this case
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 12, 2014 at 6:52 am

No really. Mail theft is a federal offense. Will he be prosecuted for that Capone style? (The postman always rings twice style?)

How is the boy doing?

This article is too sketchy.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Geography Whiz
a resident of Evergreen Park
on May 12, 2014 at 9:44 am

Chechens will be the first to tell you that they are NOT Russians, thank you! They have been trying to achieve separatism for decades. They are also Muslims, many of whom have been radicalized.


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