Town Square

Post a New Topic

Resident honored for chasing down a drunk driver

Original post made on May 15, 2011

When Michael Finley saw the flash go by and heard the crashing metal, he didn't think twice about what he was about to do. Finley was giving a guitar lesson in his Olive Avenue home in Palo Alto Oct. 11, 2010, when a car driven by a drunk driver hurtled down the quiet street and slammed into a van parked across the street.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Sunday, May 15, 2011, 3:38 PM

Comments (22)

Posted by Old Palo Alto, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 15, 2011 at 4:06 pm

This is a great story. More people should protect themselves and others. And, this should be taught in schools. The idea that you should walk away from bullies and other menaces is non sense. I tell my son and daughter that if they are bullied they must retaliate or face consequences at home. Any physical harm caused from standing up to a bully is worth it.

Posted by resident, a resident of another community
on May 15, 2011 at 4:56 pm

Great job! I had a car totaled by a drunk driver while parked on the street 4 years ago, without neighbors getting involved he might not have been caught. Thank god he didn't hurt anyone.

Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto
on May 15, 2011 at 6:22 pm

Resident, what's the deal w/your street? Sounds pretty active! Thankfully you also have active neighbors ;-) Glad in your case no one was hurt as well.

This is nice to read. Who was the drunk? What happened to her dogs - maybe they went to PAAS?

Posted by T, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 15, 2011 at 7:06 pm

Ha! My husband did the same thing a few years back. The neighbor with the car that got hit HATED us until then...he had to eat some crow that night.

Good job Michael Finley! (as an aside: I see you wherever I go, and now here you are on the paper!)

Posted by Big Dunc, a resident of Charleston Meadows
on May 16, 2011 at 7:31 am

Great job Michael!

Posted by sharon, a resident of Community Center
on May 16, 2011 at 10:39 am

Hats off to you Michael! Your a true hero.

Posted by humor, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 16, 2011 at 10:51 am

i only wish he had screamed like a mad man instead of a mad woman!

Posted by ellen, a resident of Green Acres
on May 16, 2011 at 11:05 am

Michael Finley used to be my trainer at the Y. He has always been a man driven by ethics and values. I see that he continues to be driven the same way. Way to go Mike. You should be very proud!

Posted by Mary Cafiero, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 16, 2011 at 11:15 am

Great job, Mike. You're an inspiration to the rest of us.

Posted by Anon., a resident of Crescent Park
on May 16, 2011 at 11:50 am

So ... why can't we find and get people like this into local government.

Posted by Anon., a resident of Crescent Park
on May 16, 2011 at 11:59 am

The thing is though, and this may be anecdotal and specific to me, but I seem to be seeing a lot of either drunk or bad drivers lately.

As I drive around I see cars routinely, almost everywhere I go that are weaving around in their lanes and moving into my lane so often I have to wonder what on Earth is going on.

Does anyone else see this or worse? Are cars just too big now, or people really bad drivers or under the influence, or distracted? What is going on?

Posted by _, a resident of another community
on May 16, 2011 at 12:42 pm

MIKE RULES. He's an awesome guy - I haven't seen him in a few years but it doesn't surprise me that he'd hold it down like this.

Posted by ChrisC, a resident of College Terrace
on May 16, 2011 at 1:22 pm

"...I ripped open the door and started screaming at her like a mad woman," he said.

Tell me, how does a mad woman scream as opposed to a mad man? Higher pitch? hysterical?

Posted by Clyde, a resident of Greenmeadow
on May 16, 2011 at 2:07 pm

And he (probably) no longer taught that particular student.

Posted by moi, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 16, 2011 at 3:03 pm


Not a fan of "started screaming at her like a mad woman."

Posted by what happened?, a resident of Downtown North
on May 16, 2011 at 6:24 pm

Who is the hit-and-run drunk driver? Is she facing jail time?

Posted by Gus L., a resident of Barron Park
on May 16, 2011 at 8:35 pm

All men are capable of screaming like a mad woman, Just as all women are capable of screaming like a mad man.. Its equal opportunity screaming..

Posted by Been there, a resident of Menlo Park
on May 16, 2011 at 10:23 pm

Congratulations Mike!

I saw an apparently drunk driver hit a bicyclist a couple months ago and run. I chased him down in my car. My wife called 911 and we stayed with him until the police caught up to us and arrested him. We heard the bicyclist wasn't too badly hurt despite a pretty spectacular looking crash (he flew up into the air as he was hit from behind.) Haven't heard anything about charges or trial yet, although the driver's attorney interviewed us.

Posted by Gunn Class of '67, a resident of Barron Park
on May 17, 2011 at 1:51 am

Gunn Class of '67 is a registered user.

Bravo to you Michael Finley!

You sense of justice compelled you to action
on autopilot regardless of potential danger
to yourself. Wow!


Posted by Observant neighbor, a resident of Green Acres
on May 17, 2011 at 10:54 am

"He ran barefooted"............Seems like a gift certificate from the Chief to a shoe store would be in order..........;)

Posted by sevilla finley, a resident of another community
on May 17, 2011 at 6:26 pm

Michael Finley ran the stretch to catch a hit and run
driver; he is a hero. Congratulations, Mike. You deserve

Posted by S.A. White, a resident of another community
on May 18, 2011 at 5:05 pm

I've known Michael all of his life and he is an
honest and caring person with integrity...he's a good guy.

If you were a member and logged in you could track comments from this story.

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

On Tour at Selective Schools: Chapman, La Verne, Redlands, Whittier
By John Raftrey and Lori McCormick | 1 comment | 1,860 views

The dress code
By Jessica T | 16 comments | 1,712 views

Two Days to Save This Dog?
By Cathy Kirkman | 15 comments | 1,141 views

. . . People will never forget how you made them feel.
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,112 views

It Depends... Disguising Real Characters in Fiction
By Nick Taylor | 0 comments | 373 views