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Woman arrested after trying to run car off road

Original post made on Jun 29, 2011

A woman was arrested after allegedly trying to run her own car off the road with another vehicle after her car was repossessed in Palo Alto Tuesday night (June 28), according to police.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, June 29, 2011, 12:36 PM

Comments (30)

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Posted by did she know?
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Jun 29, 2011 at 2:22 pm

Did Ms. Williams know the car was being repossessed rather than stolen?


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Posted by does it matter
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 29, 2011 at 2:30 pm

does it matter? you cant protect property with deadly force.


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Posted by Janie
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 29, 2011 at 2:59 pm

Yes it does matter. If someone stole my car, I'd chase them down too!


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Posted by Granoloa
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 29, 2011 at 3:06 pm

This just goes to show how easy it is to let your temper get out of control and make a tough situation much worse.


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Posted by Just a thought
a resident of Triple El
on Jun 29, 2011 at 3:17 pm

But, if criminals knew that people would aggressively defend themselves and their property, crime would likely plummet. This is an example of how short term it may be wisest to give in to criminals, but longer term, doing so may encourage more crime and perhaps ultimately more violence.

That said, I'm not sure whether this woman knew it was a legitimate repossession rather than a theft.


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Posted by excellent eyedia
a resident of another community
on Jun 29, 2011 at 3:32 pm

@ Just a thought

Let's give everyone guns. Then when anyone trespasses on someone else's property, the property owner gets to shoot. That will surely put a stop to criminal trespassing. Or if someone steal's Timmy's beach ball -- run 'em down? Or better yet, shoot them! That'll put a stop to personal property theft.


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Posted by Just a thought
a resident of Triple El
on Jun 29, 2011 at 5:00 pm

@eyedia
Such sarcasm or taking things to extremes is rarely helpful for a productive discourse.

The point remains that more aggressive resisting of crime could have short-term & personal negative effects, but contribute to lower crime overall. That is why, for example, many countries or companies do not simply capitulate to pirates. Even though it may be far cheaper to just "pay them off," such countries/companies may execute very risky and expensive rescue and recapture operations. And this is largely because they recognize that simply giving in would increase the amount of piracy greatly, and resisting it in this way contributes to detering future piracy.

Obviously there is balance that must be considered on a case-by-case basis.


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Posted by Oh, Brother
a resident of Jordan Middle School
on Jun 29, 2011 at 6:25 pm

How would she NOT know it was being repossessed? I'm guessing they tell people before repossessing! This is a ridiculous story.


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Posted by did she know?
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Jun 29, 2011 at 7:40 pm

No they typically do not tell people before repossessing. They just jump in the car and take off, just like a car thief would act.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 29, 2011 at 8:40 pm

There was a story in the news a few months ago about a car being repossessed while a toddler still remained in a car seat in the back. That is how quickly it can happen.


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 29, 2011 at 10:20 pm

I saw one being repo'd once, in a parking lot. They used a tow truck, there were 2 repo men (none of them related to Charlie Sheen) & when the car "owner" came out, they gave him paperwork. The car was already hooked up & ready to roll. Maybe things have changed since then, or maybe it depends on who is contracted to do the repo'ing & who they do it for.

I sent a small donation to the woman who's kid was in the car when it was repo'd that Resident referred to. I received a lovely thank you note from the young mother. I hope she is doing well.


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Posted by Oh, Brother
a resident of Jordan Middle School
on Jun 29, 2011 at 11:03 pm

Thanks for enlightening me, folks. I guess there should be an element of catching them off guard or there will be a huge argument.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by G TOWN
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 30, 2011 at 10:14 am

Not surprised at all.Do you people know angie?I do and she needs to pump her brakes or full speed ahead crash and burn.Girl you have kids and shouldnt what the heck you think, cause you birth kids makes you a parent,news not at all.You know what you spend time and energy doing and it is not taking care of KIDS or bills.Of course you knew better these people think you may not but i know you.Get some get right girl.Feel sorry for your kids THATS ABOUT IT.


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Posted by JustMe
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 30, 2011 at 10:47 am

@ G TOWN

Dude, your post bummed me out. It was hard to make out what you were saying, but I could tell that I REALLY wanted to hear what you had to say. Could you please try that again with full sentances and complete thoughts? you have something important there, I want to hear it. Slow down, take your time.

@ Everyone else, please do not give G TOWN a hard time for his post, what he has to say is more imporant than how he says it, except that he needs to be clearer.


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Posted by George K.
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 30, 2011 at 10:51 am

If that was HER reaction, I would hate to see how Demonic Williams would have responded. I'm thinking something like Michael Madsen in "Reservoir Dogs," yes? "Stuck in the Repo with You," maybe? That reminds me, RIP Gerry Rafferty.


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 30, 2011 at 11:06 am

I totally miss Gerry Rafferty! Palo Alto could use a little Michael Madsen, the sexiest B actor around. Or is it C?

I can see it now...a remake of Repo Man, w/Michael Madsen in the Harry Dean Stanton role.

I grew up a guy who's now a repo man. That's what 12 years of Catholic school can do to a guy. Plus, he was always scared of cats. Who's scared of cats?

I'd like to hear more from G Town about Angie, also. Give us the scoop, G Town!


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Posted by Oh, Brother
a resident of Jordan Middle School
on Jun 30, 2011 at 11:10 am

@JustMe: It's not difficult to decifer. He is saying that the woman lives in drama and doesn't take care of her kids because she is doing other things instead of taking care of her kids and doesn't have a job to pay the bills. He believes that the woman knew her car was being repossessed but lost her temper. He's telling her to turn her life around and do something right because she is a parent and he feels sorry for her kids.


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Posted by Enough!
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jun 30, 2011 at 11:36 am

Yikes! 'Oh, Brother' is playing June Cleavers role in Airplane!, translating the comment of another? THIS is why we need kids to stay in school at least through 12th grade....so they can write a cohesive sentence that can be understood by all.

That being said, I have had so many things ripped off that yes, I advocate a stronger response to thieving scum. I'm tired of people appropriating that which rightfully belongs to another, and I'm tired of other people defending those people by calling into play racism, the economy and other factors that are not good excuses for a complete lack of morals and a sense of entitlement like never before. Some thug beat the hell out of an 80 something year old woman in San Jose, because he wanted to rob her. 80 something can't chase you down the street, why not just rob her and leave her alone? Violence is escalating along with most thefts, and people with any common sense are getting very, VERY tired of it.

In the 80's, I worked three jobs while my husband refused to work. I couldn't pay the rent, food for the kids AND the car payment...they came out and repossessed my car too...about 8pm on an August night...I too, chased the guy, but on foot, crying. The feeling of helplessness that comes over a person when that happens is unbelievable, especially if that car is the only thing assisting you in keeping a roof over your head, and food on the table; by taking you to your job/s each day.

Not to say that this woman's response wasn't over the top, it was, but there has to be some middle ground. Some repo's are done by tow truck, others by getting in with a key. The latter is a stupid, dangerous way to repo a car, because it does resemble theft.

Theft IS on the rise in Palo Alto, who knows what she thought?


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Posted by JustMe
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 30, 2011 at 11:54 am

Let us please define "stronger response".

If we start using excessive force or deadly force whenever we feel some wrong is being committed, we REALLY risk becoming the criminal rather than the victim. We cannot leave it to everyone to define for themselves what a "crime" is, when punishment should be delivered, or what appropriate punishment is. That is chaos and anarchy, and the only ones who will prosper in that situation are the strongest and most ruthless. That is NOT "rule by law". I cannot believe that any rational person would propose that.

What we need is for the justice system to work. that means prisons that are not revolving doors to criminals, courts that are not afraid to use them, and police with enough confidence in the system to go ahead and arrest the criminals. It also means creating an economic and social environment that gives people alternatives to crime, like jobs and something to look forward to in life besides jail.

There are no simple solutions, but taking the law into your own hands is certainly not a good solution. The only time to use force is when you or someone near you is physically threatened.


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Posted by robit noops
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jun 30, 2011 at 12:18 pm

She used deadly force and endangered the lives of others over a 20 year old POS Corolla worth less than $1900. If the car was being repossessed she must have received numerous late payment letters over it.


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Posted by daniel
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 30, 2011 at 1:18 pm

If the car was being repossessed it means it didn't belong to her, since she failed to make payments on it. It's highly unlikely she wasn't aware she wasn't keeping her financing commitment and she must have known that at some point she would be losing the car. After acting so foolishly, she is likely to lose her freedom for a few years, instead of losing just a car.


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Posted by Enough!
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jun 30, 2011 at 1:37 pm

"There are no simple solutions, but taking the law into your own hands is certainly not a good solution. The only time to use force is when you or someone near you is physically threatened."

While that statement makes a lot of sense, (in a perfect world), and yes, what this woman did was certainly stupid, all the same, using force only when physically threatened enables the creeps in our society to take what they want from us, DO what they want to us, all without much fear of reprisal or very much, if any at all, punishment by the joke that our criminal court system has become. I can't believe how people who become proactive in the protection of their property,then have some criminal injured in the commission of a crime against thier property, become the targets of unscrupulous lawyers. Nevermind that if these people hadn't been trying to take something that wasn't theirs in the first place wouldn't have been injured. In this current society, the only people who are penalized, are the innocent.

People always argue that it's the 'loss of property',and that material things are not worth putting a person in prison. It's not just the property that's the issue. Crime against another, no matter what form, is the loss of a personal sense of security, it's a violation of a person's well being, and it's WRONG.


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Posted by JustMe
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 30, 2011 at 2:08 pm

@ enough

Okay, so I take a bike ride downtown, park and lock my bike, and go into a shop. As I come out of the shop, I see someone removing my bike from the rack and start to ride off. Thinking quickly, (he's about to get away,) I grab a nearby 2x4, swing it around, and catch him in the back of the head, sending him to the pavement. Yeah, I protected my property, defended my rights,.... oh, wait, my bike is still in the rack. His just looked like mine,... Oops, sorry about that,...

All I did was try to follow what you propose, defending my property with violent action, and now I am going to jail for criminal stupidity. Do you really think you never make mistakes? Do you really think that people will never make mistakes in overzealous protection of property? How can you think taking the law into your own hands is a good idea?


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Posted by Huh?
a resident of another community
on Jun 30, 2011 at 2:17 pm

@Enough!: here's another take on your desired world:

. . .using force when property is merely threatened enables vigilante creeps in our society to justify whatever violence they want to visit on those who may threaten their property, DO what they want to us, all without much fear of reprisal or very much, if any at all, punishment by the joke that our criminal court system has become. I can't believe how people who use violence with the justification that they're just being proactive in the protection of their property, try to justify their willful injury, even killing, of the person they think is committing a crime against their property, use unscrupulous lawyers to justify that violence. Nevermind that if these people hadn't been trying to entrap someone to "steal" their property, then that alleged criminal wouldn't have tried to take something that wasn't theirs in the first place. In this current society, the only people who are penalized, are the innocent.

Where do you expect those who you'd license to commit violence merely in the protection of their personal property to draw the line? Do they get to draw it? Any justification works? Keep courts out of it, and let victims and criminals fight it out on the street?


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Posted by JustMe
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 30, 2011 at 3:05 pm

@ Huh?

Have you ever seen "City of Gold"? I see it as a look at the kind of world others would propose for us.

According to legend, King Arthur is the one who proposed "Might for the right" instead of "Might makes right".


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Posted by G TOWN
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 30, 2011 at 4:22 pm

@ENOUGH.You watch to many movies thats why you keep getting ripped off.You read to slow and outdated way of thinking thats why you dont understand.Do you have kids?Kids not a dog.YOU HAVE TIME TO WRITE ON THIS BLOG AND GIVE YOUR OPINION LIKE IT REALY MEANS SOMETHING.Stop watching movies and watch your property and you might stop being so hateful.


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Posted by Belle
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 30, 2011 at 4:41 pm

The breakdown on repos - I work for an FI

So this is how it goes-
If a person is 2 - 3 months behind on payments or has broken a promise to pay the car will be put out to an agency for pick up.

The agency has papers on hand to produce to law enforcement as to why the vehicle is being picked up. If the agency encounters the owner they have a set for them as well.

If you don't hold the title to your vehicle you don't own it period.


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Posted by I'm an @#$%
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 1, 2011 at 1:59 pm

I really want some %^&*( chasing another ^%$#@ throughmy neighborhood rather than shooting randomly at them with the accuracy of the typical gang banger - hit every thing but the target... unless they are a child..........


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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 9, 2011 at 4:57 pm

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

The repo man should have, when challenged, stopped and shown his authority to repossess.


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jul 9, 2011 at 4:59 pm

Walter, doesn't it seem that the repo person couldn't do so, according to this story & the other news reports?


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