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Knife threat triggers barricade of empty house

Original post made on Aug 15, 2010

Palo Alto police and other law-enforcement officers barricaded a house in the 500 block of Georgia Avenue just before 11 a.m. this morning (Aug. 15) seeking a man who had threatened his live-in partner with a steak knife. But a search of the house by a robot from the Santa Clara County Bomb Squad turned up only an empty house, and the barricade was ended about 6 p.m.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Sunday, August 15, 2010, 7:33 PM

Comments (34)

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Posted by James
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 15, 2010 at 7:48 pm

Wow, SEVEN hours in a standoff of an empty house!!! I have never heard of a robot being dispatched and sent in before a swat team does. Maybe robots will replace all police dangerous activity, then we can lower police pensions and salaries.


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Posted by Ed
a resident of another community
on Aug 15, 2010 at 9:06 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by who is he?
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 15, 2010 at 9:17 pm

The guy is accused of assault with a deadly weapon. Why won't the cops name him? Should neighbors be worried?


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Posted by Milt
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 15, 2010 at 9:37 pm

Hey James, I'm sure if the officers were certain that the house was empty they would have approached matters differently. Using current technology to make a safer approach only makes sense. I'm grateful that we have a well trained, smart, and creative police department.


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Posted by anonymous
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 15, 2010 at 10:02 pm

his name is clyde farmer. the police were saying his name over speakerphone for the whole six hour standoff. I also have alot of pictures of the police charging the perimter of his house withe smg's and shotguns and of the robot.


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Posted by who is he?
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 15, 2010 at 10:31 pm

What does Clyde Farmer look like? How long has he been living in that house?


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Posted by who is he?
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 15, 2010 at 10:37 pm

Google says that Clyde Farmer is the guy who takes care of the donkeys near Bol Park. He was born and raised in Barron Park: Web Link


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Posted by anonymous
a resident of Mountain View
on Aug 15, 2010 at 10:43 pm

As his neighbors, you should probably be more concerned with the psychopathic live-in woman partner who is free to walk amongst you. Those of you who know him, know that he has lived in that house for decades with no issues until recently when this 'woman' showed up.


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Posted by just like Mark
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 15, 2010 at 11:02 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by Out to correct google
a resident of Green Acres
on Aug 16, 2010 at 8:46 am


The woman involved is from Jamaica and has a child. Social Services should have been involved into this mess a long time ago.
Clyde Farmer was a life long horseshoer in the area. Retired. He grew up on Fernando Street with his family, moved into his house in Barron Park around the late 1960's. Hard worker all his life. Just got involved not long ago with "the wrong woman"......
Guess you won't read all that on Google..nor what really put him in the position he now faces........He turned himself into the police and was arrested yesterday.


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Posted by Franklin
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Aug 16, 2010 at 9:26 am

Someone said they had pictures, post a link, please.


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Posted by Rick
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 16, 2010 at 9:45 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by Worried
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 16, 2010 at 10:00 am

I've seen strange cars and seemingly unsavory people come and go at Clyde's house for the last few years. They come less frequently now but that seemed to happen since he became involved with that woman.


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Posted by andrea
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Aug 16, 2010 at 10:17 am

Great police work as usual.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by Anonymous Neighbor
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 16, 2010 at 11:12 am

The woman has been trying to get Clyde arrested for a long time - she sees his lock-up as a way for her to take his house. She takes advantage of him and has put him in many bad situations. The police need to see her for what she is - she needs to be removed from the neighborhood and a restraining order put in place. The problem is Clyde is too nice to initiate the step himself. PLEASE someone with the right skills get involved and put an end to this ongoing saga.


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Posted by correcting google
a resident of Green Acres
on Aug 16, 2010 at 11:13 am

Rick: Thanks for airing out Clyd's problem so elequently..He has been taken advantage of. Getting old is hell. You'de like to believe differently....


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Posted by Sylvia
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 16, 2010 at 11:33 am

I can't attest as to the veracity of any of the comments posted here, but I'd just like to say I'm amazed.

Upon first reading of the Online article, my mind conjures up a 67 year old bully, jealous of a much younger woman, and definitely guilty of domestic violence.

Then people who know this man paint a much different picture, that of a nice older man being taken advantage of by a larcenous female.

Interesting to say the least. I hope the truth will out and that we'll read about it soon.


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Posted by Rick
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 16, 2010 at 11:56 am

Sorry if my previous post offended anyone. I was only speaking the truth. Clyde is the victim here and needs help. He has worked too hard his whole life to now be taken advantage of [portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by Cpt Shady
a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Aug 16, 2010 at 12:31 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


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Posted by a person with first hand knowledge
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 16, 2010 at 2:24 pm

Sad. I can say that we know her child, who is the truly innocent victim here. Clyde is an elderly, hard working man who has unfortunately been taken advantage of by a woman who is from a part of lower class Jamaican culture. Clyde has attempted to evict her from his house using all legal means. She has been in and out of the house, and uses her child as a pawn in all of her actions. Without her child, she would have been deported long ago. Her child is unfortunately the one who is the "adult" in these circumstances, and thank God he has had an awesome education via Palo Alto schools, as without it he would be doomed to repeat his mother's path.

I am unsure if Clyde has ever done things that she has accused him of, and I would be far more terrified of her with a knife than him. In California, as well as in other areas in which the quality and cost of life is very high, there will always be predators who wish to take advantage of those most trusting and highly vulnerable.

The victims in this include Clyde and her child. As to where the child's father is? Somewhere in Jamaica. We just need to feel very very grateful that she has had no more children.


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Posted by long time neighbor
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 16, 2010 at 3:34 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


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Posted by Michael Farmer
a resident of Monroe Park
on Aug 16, 2010 at 3:35 pm

Hi, I am concerned about the welfare and safety of the child. His mother has been on drugs for the past 3 years and the child has been neglected and mentally and verbally abused. I personally have witnessed this abuse and tried to intervene but to no avail. So I am hoping that this is not going to be another child that slips through the cracks of social services and they do an investigation.


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Posted by Joel
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 16, 2010 at 4:08 pm

Is there a reason why CANS was not generated for this event?


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Posted by What is CANS?
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 16, 2010 at 4:28 pm

Forgive my ignorance, but what is CANS?


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Posted by Joe Wachtel
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 16, 2010 at 5:14 pm

While I currently live in Wellington, NV I've known Clyde for 50 plus years. He's taken care of the donkeys at Bol Park for years which speaks highly of his integrity, consider-ation and honesty, in addition to having lived as an honest, law abiding citizen in the Barron Park for all his life. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by Robin
a resident of Green Acres
on Aug 16, 2010 at 6:00 pm

This news is most distressing. Clyde has been a friend of my brother for more than 30 years. He has been incredibly kind and generous during those years. People do take advantage of this man. Where's his family? The police need to help not send in the robots. Good grief! What money was spent on that for Pete's sake?! He needs some help in getting her out of his house once & for all!


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Posted by Great Police Work
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 16, 2010 at 7:22 pm

Some people are never happy.

Using the robot was a perfect way to avoid a possibly deadly confrontation. Had the police ran in and forced a confrontation, then all of you would blame them for that.

This way no harm was done to anyone or anything but a little bit of time. Yes it will alwasy take hours to bring in SWAT teams and special equipment from other agencies. Just the way it is.

everyone is alive and weel today because we have these tools and they used them


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Posted by Resident
a resident of another community
on Aug 16, 2010 at 8:20 pm

Can someone post a link with photos? Or will the site take it down?


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Posted by michael farmer
a resident of Monroe Park
on Aug 16, 2010 at 9:04 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by home town zero
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Aug 16, 2010 at 9:10 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by michael farmer
a resident of Monroe Park
on Aug 16, 2010 at 9:45 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by BobAnonymous
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 17, 2010 at 2:30 pm

BobAnonymous is a registered user.

It is unfortunate that this article has been closed to unregistered user comments. It had the potential to be very helpful for those involved.


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Aug 18, 2010 at 10:14 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

What a sad situation! I am glad that neighbors are posting their knowledge of the situation - it truly paints a different picture. It sounds like the woman uses her gender & motherhood to gain the upper hand. Now this man may go to jail & lose his home.

If neighbors & family members care enough & organize, perhaps they can get a social worker involved, a private attorney or at least a court-appointed attorney who knows their stuff?

This story reminds me a bit of the Sunnyvale man who died via suicide by cop after domestic violence issues w/his foreign-born wife. She married him for US benefits & was violent w/him. When he finally retaliated, she sought help at a shelter.


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Posted by Concerned mother
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 6, 2010 at 1:44 pm

Concerned mother is a registered user.

One of my daughter's classmates' mother took in the 10 year old, and has been housing him for the last 3 weeks. Clyde was not charged, thank God, and is therefor back in his house. Now the problem is this woman is using the current family to house, feed, and care for her son while she does not give a cent to them for his care, works part time in Palo Alto, and basically has all the social services given to her while taking advantage of this family. At a certain point, one would wonder if it is a "God -given right" for this child to remain in the PA school district when there are hundreds of children on the lists waiting with their parents to get Section 8 housing in Palo Alto, working multiple low paying jobs to afford a better life for their own children.

I know that in this debate is the very basics of the right to education, housing, etc. Unfortunately, this child has been raised around Palo Alto with his mother's cons of one person or another, and has a belief that he 'deserves' to have every luxury his friends have. Is it his fault? No. It is his mother's fault that she instilled a belief in him that one does not have to work hard and defer immediate gratification to achieve a better standard of life, he only needs to play on a society's collective guilt to continue to receive an upper middle class education and all the luxuries that come with it.

Does anyone know the social services that are associated with Palo Alto? My only concern is for the child at this point, the mother deserves to work just as much as everyone else has to in order to live in the Santa Clara Valley. I know that the child is being fed extremely well, which is taking away from the family with whom he lives.


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