News

Man arrested for hate crime, cane attack in downtown Palo Alto

Police say 26-year-old from Redwood City yelled racial epithets before assaulting two older men

Palo Alto police have arrested a man who they say committed a hate crime Saturday night when he yelled racial epithets and attacked two older men in a downtown parking lot, in one case smashing a cane across a victim's forehead.

Police said the attack took place just before midnight in the back corner of the Emerson Street parking lot known as "Lot A," between Lytton and University avenues. A police officer was driving past the lot when he reportedly heard a commotion. When he approached the area where the noise was coming from, he saw a man in his 60s lying on the ground in a fetal position. A man with blood on his hands and head was standing over him, holding onto a stairwell and kicking the man in his upper chest and head.

The officer ordered the assailant to stop, at which time the suspect allegedly ran into an alleyway next to the parking lot. The officer quickly caught him and took him into custody.

After further investigating, officers learned that the suspect, 26-year-old Shane Patrick Collins, had allegedly approached two men in the parking lot and begun shouting racial epithets at them. After they asked him to go away, the man walked up to them and allegedly assaulted one of them, a black man in his 50s. Police said the victim tried to defend himself with his walking cane but fell to the ground. Collins then allegedly got on top of him, took away his cane and hit him at least once in the head with the cane.

The other man, who is white, tried to escape into the alleyway but Collins allegedly chased him down and hit him in the back of the head with the cane. Police said Collins then smashed the cane into the man's forehead, breaking the cane in the process, before proceeding to punch and kick him. The assault continued until the officer interfered.

Police said the victim who was being attacked at the time of the officer's arrival sustained two cuts to the head. The other victim suffered one head wound. Both were treated at the scene and released, with Palo Alto Fire Department officials offering medical assistance. Collins also had a cut on his forehead, though police said the cause was unknown. He was taken to a local hospital for a medical clearance before being booked at the Santa Clara County Main Jail.

Collins was charged with two counts of felony assault with a deadly weapon, one count of felony robbery for taking the cane, a misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest, and a hate crime.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the department's 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to paloalto@tipnow.org or sent via text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984.

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by scary
a resident of South of Midtown
on Aug 27, 2014 at 10:31 am

Very scary incident. I'm glad that the police patrol was nearby to stop the attacks before the injuries were more severe.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 27, 2014 at 10:37 am

Kudos to the officer(s) who broke up this attack and arrested the suspect.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Maria
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Aug 27, 2014 at 10:46 am

I am curious to know how Collins got injured. It takes two to tango.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Men and violence
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 27, 2014 at 10:50 am

We need some medical or pharmaceutical attention to the propensity of so many men to violence.
Add drugs or alcohol to the testosterone poisoning and we get the random violence every day. This is a big subject but it needs attention.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by kmk
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 27, 2014 at 11:39 am

I'm amazed the policeman heard them. Every time I see a patrol car, the officer is reading his computer screen, oblivious to his surroundings.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sylvia
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 27, 2014 at 11:43 am

This is absolutely horrible. I'm inclined to suspect some mental illness, but the guy needs the full weight of the law to fall on him for attacking innocent people without any apparent provocation.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sylvia
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 27, 2014 at 11:44 am

I forgot to say thank you to the policeman who intervened before the victims could be more seriously hurt than they were.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by neighbor
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 27, 2014 at 11:58 am

Were the two victims street people?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Joe
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 27, 2014 at 12:07 pm

> We need some medical or pharmaceutical attention to the propensity
> of so many men to violence.

You mean like the young men who were rioting, looting and shooting at law enforcement in Ferguson, MO, over the past couple of weeks?

Please take note--Palo Alto routinely sees very few violtent crimes, on a yearly basis. This young man was not from Palo Alto, proper, but his outburst will end up being a black mark on this year's police stats.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Raymond
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Aug 27, 2014 at 12:17 pm

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment.]


 +   Like this comment
Posted by John Thomas-Whitcomb McCoy
a resident of another community
on Aug 27, 2014 at 1:39 pm

Thank you PAPD it's always gratifying when a crime in progress can be stopped! Now on a slightly lighter side, have city officials checked for valid visas inside the passports of the two vics for even entering The City Palo Alto?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Gethin
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 27, 2014 at 1:40 pm

Gethin is a registered user.

Good work to the PAPD involved!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by boscoli
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 27, 2014 at 2:56 pm

Liz Kniss is so proud of having a "thriving downtown" which she attributes to the urbanization and fast track development she is so fond of. We never used to have those kind of lowlifes roaming downtown before the irresponsible urbanization of Palo Alto. Now it attracts criminals, drug dealers, junkies, rapists, gang mambers and such. The meteoric rise in real estate values comes with a very steep price.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Enough!
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Aug 27, 2014 at 3:11 pm

Sounds like too much alcohol to me.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by neighbor
a resident of another community
on Aug 27, 2014 at 3:16 pm

Why are robberies up in Palo Alto? EASY to figure that out -- to quote Willie Sutton: "because that's where the money is."


 +   Like this comment
Posted by myopinion
a resident of Palo Verde School
on Aug 27, 2014 at 3:54 pm

A crime is a crime is a crime.
Because I hate the other person - rightly or wrongly, expressed or not - should have no bearing.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by InsideMan
a resident of another community
on Aug 28, 2014 at 10:51 am

I actually know the suspect very well. He's not mentally unstable, he doesn't have a propensity for violence, and he CERTAINLY is not a racist. I have known Shane for over a decade and those types of things would have definitely surfaced at some point.

Note that Shane also has a large welt on his forehead and yet, there is no explanation as to how he got it. This whole story is completely based on what the victims said happened. I would really like to know everyone's side of the story.

Having known Shane for so long, I know for a fact this event did not go down exactly as the victims are describing.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by resident
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 28, 2014 at 11:12 am

The article says the police witnessed the perp kicking an elderly man who was already beaten to the ground. This is just an allegation from the victims.


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