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Palo Alto Weekly

News - December 6, 2006

News Digest

Suspected Palo Alto Bowl gunman captured

Michael Paul Davis, the 25-year-old suspect in the Nov. 18 attempted robbery and shooting at the Palo Alto Bowl, was taken into custody about 3:15 a.m. Friday after more than a 12-hour standoff with police surrounding a house in Sunnyvale.

Gas grenades fired into the house "encouraged" Davis to surrender, Palo Alto police Capt. Dennis Burns said.

Davis surrendered to members of the Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety SWAT team and the U.S. Marshals Service after police fired a mix of CS and OC gas (tear gas and pepper spray) into the otherwise unoccupied house on the 1100 block of Prescott Avenue, near Lawrence Expressway and U.S. Highway 101.

The subject of a two-week intensive manhunt, Davis was turned over to Palo Alto officers at the scene and was arrested on a $1 million warrant relating to the Nov. 18 shooting and attempted robbery.

Palo Alto officers and detectives then moved in to check the house for evidence, Burns reported shortly after 4 a.m.

Burns said an elderly woman had been in the house earlier but was allowed to leave about 6:30 p.m. The woman is believed to be Davis' grandmother, Burns said.

He said Davis surrendered without incident after the gas had been fired into the home. Burns said he knew of no precise reason why it took so long for Davis to surrender other than a reluctance from "knowing he would be going straight to jail."

More than a dozen Palo Alto officers were involved in the initial cordon of the house, along with more than two dozen other officers from Sunnyvale, and the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department SWAT team. The standoff began around 3 p.m. after detectives learned he was there, Palo Alto police Sgt. Sandra Brown reported.

During the standoff, police negotiators contacted Davis by telephone and continued talking with him throughout the night.

Some officers were able to leave after the negotiations dragged on and temperatures dropped to bitter-cold levels.

Burns said law-enforcement sources developed the information that led to the house in Sunnyvale, involving associates of Davis. But he did not believe anyone would qualify for the $15,000 in reward money that had been offered by the Palo Alto Police Department and the bowling alley.

Harvey King, the bowling alley manager who was shot in the neck during the 8:45 a.m. attempted robbery, was in critical condition for a time at Stanford Hospital but has since been released and is recovering from his wound.

A janitor at the bowling alley, Roosevelt Reed, 52, of Santa Clara, was arrested the Sunday after the robbery attempt on a parole violation. He has been accused of being an accomplice to Davis and letting him into the bowling alley before it opened Saturday.

On Nov. 18, officers from five jurisdictions cordoned off the bowling alley, blocking traffic on El Camino Real for more than six hours. During that time, they were able to rescue a young woman who had been hiding inside and later searched the entire building, coming up empty. The blockade of El Camino created serious traffic tie-ups on side streets in the area.

Christmas Tree Lane to light up Dec. 16

Organizers of Palo Alto's traditional Christmas Tree Lane are inviting residents to bundle up and attend the opening tree-lighting ceremony on Dec. 16 at 5 p.m. The lane, also known as the 1700 and 1800 blocks of Fulton Street between Embarcadero Road and Seale Avenue, has been entertaining crowds for 66 years.

Performing at the Opening will be the Music In Motion Singers from Palo Alto's Duveneck and Escondido Elementary Schools. The performance will begin at 5 p.m in front of the reindeer and end at 5:20p.m.at 1881 Fulton, organizer Joan Angelopoulos said.

After Dec. 16, the display of lights will turn on daily at 5 p.m. and continue through New Year's Eve, with the lights darkening each night at 11 p.m. No parking is allowed on Christmas Tree Lane, but parking is available in nearby neighborhoods.

Visitors who wish to drive slowly down the lane are asked to illuminate only their parking lights.

-- Palo Alto Weekly staff

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