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Duck pond stroll results in drug charges

Original post made on Sep 3, 2008

A man and woman out for a stroll to the duck pond in the Palo Alto Baylands were stopped and arrested by police early Tuesday morning, in part because they were visiting the duck pond at 3 a.m. when the area is closed to the public.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, September 3, 2008, 3:00 PM

Comments (41)

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 3, 2008 at 3:08 pm

Were they planning to feed the ducks weed?


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Posted by Palo Parent
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Sep 3, 2008 at 3:10 pm

Where do you think duckweed comes from?


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Posted by Todd
a resident of Los Altos
on Sep 3, 2008 at 3:24 pm

Oh boy, they had some marijuana on them... Is that even worth the pixels used to display it? Don't the cops have more important areas to patrol then the duck pond?


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Posted by really
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Sep 3, 2008 at 4:54 pm

someone just sole 500 dollars worth of my equipment,and thyre wasting time on pot smokers? rise up ,citizens,we need to take back our continent!


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Posted by TPAR
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 3, 2008 at 5:11 pm

...but first we need to learn how to spell.


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Posted by Mike
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 3, 2008 at 5:12 pm

Decriminalize it!


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Posted by Hulkamania
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 3, 2008 at 5:17 pm

Night time at the duck pond. Boy, does that bring back memories. I saw plenty of submarine races out there when I was young.


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Posted by Chris
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 3, 2008 at 5:19 pm

For crying out loud, these guys weren't hurting anybody. As long as they weren't stealing anything or beating up anybody, their right to privacy was violated. When are we going to join modernity and legalize drugs. Drugs aren't any worse than cigarettes or booze. It's a personal choice. Why is it OK for cars to drive down my street at 3:00AM stereo blasting to the point where my walls and windows are shaking and rattling, while that couple, who were not hurting or disturbing a soul, are facing criminal charges? The rest of the western world is in the 21st century, and our society is back to 1700.


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Posted by Steve
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 3, 2008 at 8:09 pm

I think some of the readers need to get educated on one of the primary motivations for those crooks that are stealing and robbing people...DRUGS!


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Posted by wow
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 3, 2008 at 8:12 pm

For all those sympathizing with the folks arrested and blaming the police, where do you draw the line? Should it OK to have weed and other illegal drugs on you at the duck pond during the day? What about near a school? At work? In your kid's classroom? Does it matter to you what the other illegal drugs were?

I see no problem with our police stopping folks who are at a park after closing hours. If they had not been carrying drugs or been under the influence, were not doing anything destructive, did not respond to the police rudely, and had still been arrested (as opposed to given a warning or at worst a citation), then I can see some anger at such a police response.

In this case, I say well done PAPD.


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Posted by Mike
a resident of Palo Alto Orchards
on Sep 3, 2008 at 9:32 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by lala
a resident of Gunn High School
on Sep 3, 2008 at 11:11 pm

LEGALIZE IT


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Posted by Mike
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 4, 2008 at 2:50 am

When will the Palo Alto Police start sweeps through the local high schools to rid them of drugs?


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Posted by Gerald
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 4, 2008 at 8:09 am

"WOW", the arrest didn't happen during the day, they were arrested at 3:00AM. They didn't use drugs in public, certainly not in front of any school or school kids. If police cruisers pass daily by gardeners violating the leafblower ban and do nothing, not even a verbal warning(I see it every day), why would they not leave that couple alone when they weren't harming or bothering anybody and certainly, unlike the gardeners, weren't filling the air with polluting and cancer causing fumes
There are many violations the police pretend not to notice, why would they clamp down on people who didn't bother anybody?

As a society, It's crazy to outlaw drugs while alcohol and cigarettes, among the most addictive and destructive drugs that exist, are legal. It's the same puritan and insane logic in which television networks are allowed to run mind numbing violence, but strictly prohibited from showing a woman's nipple.


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Posted by I did it too
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Sep 4, 2008 at 8:14 am

If your going to do it out there, get out on the boardwalk/observation platform, gives you plenty of time to stash the stuff and get your pants on. When we hung out there in the baylands in the dark, the cops were focused in the right places, and left us alone


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Posted by I did it too
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Sep 4, 2008 at 8:23 am

Well said Gerald. Right on! As a bike rider, those leaf blowers are a real hazard, waste of time, if only those who hire them were home to see what they do, blow the crap in the street, only to have cars blow it back into the yard. As a home owner, standing in the yard or by the window, having multiple gardeners show up, and the incesant noise of the blowers ruins the reason I choose to be home during the day. Why pass a law that will never be enforced. Then there's the smokers on the sidewalks of our beautiful retail sidewalks, stinking up the air as I try to spend my dollars locally; another law that is as useful as a wet napkin! But thank god the cops are out taking care of the ducks at 3am, they need their sleep too!


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Posted by antoine
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 4, 2008 at 10:46 am

personally ,i am unable to hold a job because car fumes make me sick!! but theyre going after pot smokers! cars should be otlawed in the cities ,including cop cars and military vehicles!


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Posted by anon
a resident of Mountain View
on Sep 4, 2008 at 11:50 am

They may have been up to something more than just walking. A few yrs ago I went to the baylands, the entrance near the recycling/dump. It was just after the park closed, at dusk in Sept. I had returned from backpacking few days prior and wanted some air. A policewoman came up to me in my car and asked me quite rudely "who are you meeting" finally believed me I was there just for air. She said women meet people out there for paid services.


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Posted by Carioca
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 4, 2008 at 1:11 pm

" women meet people out there for paid services"- perish the thought, the US and western civilization are in mortal danger as long as prostitution exists. We should hire policeman and women only to protect us from prostitutes, their johns, pot smokers and the showing breasts on TV, then we will all be safe.


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Posted by Jacob
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 4, 2008 at 3:55 pm

A lot of people who steal and rob use that money to pay for their drugs. I thank PAPD for making those arrests. If they need to use their drugs, do it at home where the police can't enter. My family knows the parks in town close at 10:30. If you don't want to get stopped, don't go to the parks after hours.

And to those making a big stink about leaf blowers, give me a break. There is a huge difference between police arresting people using drugs or in possession of drugs and citing people who use leaf blowers who are trying to make a good, honest, hard working living. Two people in a park with warrants and who are under the influence at 3:00 am are not trying to make a good living.


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Posted by bob
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 4, 2008 at 7:08 pm

I agree marijuana is less dangerous than alcohol, but for now it is illegal. But other drugs were found and one person had an outstanding warrant which the police cannot ignore.

Lastly it is illegal to be in a park after closing hours for the reason noted above - "paid services". If one does not like a law, work to get it changed instead of blaming the police for enforcing it.


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Posted by Mel
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 5, 2008 at 4:52 am

If you read the original story, it looks like the drugs involved are something more than marijuana. Also, since they were arrested for being under the influence of drugs, that would not include marijuana. As I understand it, A drug influence charge would typically stem from drugs like cocaine, heroin, or meth. It also looks like one of the people arrested had warrants for a previous drug charge. With all that going on, not a atretch to think they might be involved in other things as well.


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Posted by Pam
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 5, 2008 at 7:23 am

t's also illegal to use leafblowers but no one is ever arrested for using them, and they are far more dangerous to the public at large than a couple of people using it out by the bay, away from everybody else. the excuse that it's acceptable to break the law because " people who use leaf blowers who are trying to make a good, honest, hard working living" is absurd. since when is that an excuse for breaking the law?
Drugs, just like cigarettes and alcohol, very dangerous drugs, probably more dangerous that most illegal drugs, should be a personal choice and be legal. In the meantime, the police shouldn't be allowed to ignore the violation of one law, leafblower use for example, while enforcing others.


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Posted by fed up with typical Palo Alto resident attitudes
a resident of another community
on Sep 5, 2008 at 9:18 am

for all the know it alls complaining about the leafblowers being used...it's not against the law! It's against a city code for crying out loud! Police enforce criminal law, they enforce city codes when the are authorized through criminal laws. Key word being law.

Besides would you rather having one of your 6 officers working spend their time on some guy using a leaf blower or being under the influence of narcotics in the middle of the night? It doesn't take a genius or common sense to realize that these people In the duck ponds weren't going to go do something productive when they were done.


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Posted by trudy
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 5, 2008 at 11:41 am

Re "Besides would you rather having one of your 6 officers working spend their time on some guy using a leaf blower or being under the influence of narcotics in the middle of the night? It doesn't take a genius or common sense to realize that these people In the duck ponds weren't going to go do something productive when they were done."


I'd rather have the police going after leaf blowers, which destroy the serenity of neighborhoods, and are terribly polluting. If someone is under the influence of drugs in the middle of the night and they have the consideration to be far away from anyone else, as these people were, so be it. What the heck is the requirement that they do something productive afterwards? Are you doing something productive at say 5am?


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Posted by Racine
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 5, 2008 at 12:46 pm

If you have any doubt that Palo Alto does not have a good amount of crime check out CrimeReports.com. It lists everything that happens in PA.


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Posted by fed up with Typical Palo Alto resident attitudes
a resident of another community
on Sep 5, 2008 at 1:08 pm

well at 5am I am typically up protecting another community as a police officer. I come here after my PAPD friends tell me of the outrageous wishes (ie: go after leaf blowers rather than drug use let me make it clear for you, after dopers finishing using they don't go home and catch some sleep so they can get to work, they head to your leaf blower polluted neighborhood and break into your cars and houses.

So we are perfectly clear here...people who steal almost always do drugs, my first hand experience. Also most of these people break into your house during the day are under the influence. The hard working guy using a gas leaf blower to get to a couple more yards to make extra money, he's not using it to distract you so he can burglarize your property.


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Posted by sarlat
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 5, 2008 at 1:12 pm

I'd absolutely rather have the police go after illegal users of leafblowers rather than people who are using drugs off by the baylands. These guys were making a personal choice that doesn't hurt or disturbs the public, while leafblowers cause deadly air pollution, horrendous noise pollution, reduce our quality of life and right to some peace and quiet and cause irreversible damage to the atmosphere. The leafblowers is a city ordinance, which is the same as a law and no one has a right to violate it. We cannot decide which laws we obey and which we ignore. The two people arrested made no impact on my life or yours, but leafblowers do, day in and day out.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 5, 2008 at 1:19 pm

I would like to thank the PAPD for being vigilant when it comes to potential crime. I can understand that the police were being very diligent when it came to these two at the duckpond. If they were as innocent as many of you think, I doubt they would have been charged. The fact is that at 3.00 am the police thought these two were suspicious and found a way to charge them. If they had not been charged, the likelihood is that they would have gone on their merry way to do crime somewhere and this prevented them.

Thank you PAPD.

And, as for leaf blowers, those who complain should do an honest hard days work to feed their family without using any technology, just sweat. We have plenty of noise and pollution around here and preventing leafblowers is the most ridiculous argument I have heard in finding something to give our hardworking pd to do.


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Posted by innocent until proven...
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 5, 2008 at 2:54 pm

How many of the current contenders for president/vice president have smoked dope? And how many of them subsequently robbed houses? While we're at it, what percentage of Palo Alto's adult population has used marijuana at some point? And how many people have walked through or spent time in a city park after dark? .

"If they were as innocent as many of you think, I doubt they would have been charged."

An incredibly naive statement, and a reflection of the police state mentality that has unfortunately brainwashed many members of our society. Resident, I hope you never have a chance to serve on a jury.


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Posted by Slate
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Sep 5, 2008 at 3:05 pm

And innocent until proven, you're transparent argument, with your brainwashing theories, makes it very easy to peg you as yet another loser trying to justify their poor choices. Also, if you read the story, it sounds like other, more serious drugs were involved. This wasn't just about marijuana. One of the people already had warrants for other drug charges, and if they were arrested for being under the influence, that too would have hgad to involve drugs like meth. or cocaine. I'm glad the PAPD arrest people like this, because these are the same people who are out doing other, more seriois crimes. No, I'm afraid you're the one that is naive.


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Posted by Don
a resident of Stanford
on Sep 5, 2008 at 3:51 pm

" I'm glad the PAPD arrest people like this, because these are the same people who are out doing other, more seriois crimes."

So how come the PAPD didn't arrest George W Bush, who BTW seems to have the same spelling issues you do, when he was here?


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Posted by Slate
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Sep 5, 2008 at 6:55 pm

If George Bush had committed a state or local crime, which the PAPD only have the authority to enforce, then yeah, I suppose he too would have been subject to arrest. And thanks for correcting my spelling. I am grateful. Unfortunately for you that was the only thing accurate about your comments. Cheers!


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Posted by innocent until proven...
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 5, 2008 at 9:21 pm

We are fortunate indeed to live in a country that does not allow the police to serve as judge and jury. Whether or not this couple is guilty of the charges made against them, the fact that they have been charged does not prove their guilt. So sad to realize that many posters on this board have no understanding of the principles that serve as the underpinnings of our social and legal system.

Does believing in justice and the judicial system make someone a loser? Slate, you sound like another resident unfit for jury duty!


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Posted by Slate
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Sep 6, 2008 at 12:04 am

No worries innocent, I see where you're coming from. You just stay out there and keep trying to arrest the president, or find where the brainwashing took place, or convince us of what an oppressive, police state we live in. You need to get out more. I'll leave it at that. You go have another bowl.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 6, 2008 at 2:04 pm

I hope you don't end up on a jury either, because it sounds as if you will consider what is going on in Washington more important than what is going on in the courtoom.


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Posted by Palyatitudude
a resident of Professorville
on Sep 7, 2008 at 9:38 am

Back in the day, I talked to lots of cops at three am. Always stoned.
This was when drugs were being used to invent personal computers, games,
string theory, and all kinds of other revolutionary world transforming ideas. They'd mostly screw with our heads, saying things like 'you want us to take these drugs away from you?' 'uh....yes?' 'are you trying to bribe us?' Then they'd pour the weed into the street, and ask us if we still wanted it... It took no less than three patrol cars one night, an hour and a half, to confiscate a bong, and half a bag of 'lumbo.
Pretty impressive that they're still vigilant protecting innocent sleepy
ducks, from hop heads, and drug fiends. Course if they had waited until
the couple got back in their car, they could have got em on a DUI as well. Amateurs......


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Posted by Nafee
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 8, 2008 at 9:49 am

Palyattitude, what the police do on a daily basis, you would neither have the courage or fortitude to even attempt. You say it all with your name alone. An entitled twit.


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Posted by Prankster
a resident of Green Acres
on Sep 9, 2008 at 11:32 pm

My car's window was smashed on Edgewood Dr. and our GPS was stolen; I learned of other Edgewood Dr. and nearby residents that had the exact thing happen. When we reported the crime by telephone to the Palo Alto Police, we were all instructed to use the internet instead of having a visit from a police officer.

When I found that the GPS crimes were similar, I asked the PA Police to set up a "sting" car -in front of my home if necessary. My new security camera's could film the crime. The PA Police were not interested.

Yes, they should enforce the law, but to arrest pot smokers and spend major resources on the minor accounting infractions at the PA Children's Theater vs. criminals breaking into personal property constitutes very bad management of the law enforcement resources.

Anyone for a new Chief of Police in Palo Alto?


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Posted by Sinclair
a resident of Green Acres
on Sep 10, 2008 at 2:22 am

Your argument is flawed Prankster, unless you choose to have it match your screen name.

First of all, if you read the original story, this was not a simple case of marijuana possession. Indications are that other, more serious drugs were involved, as well as the person being under the influence of drugs. Someone who is arrested for being under the influence of drugs usually involves heroin, cocaine, or meth, not marijuana. Also, at least one of the people had a warrant issued for their arrest for drugs.

I suppose the PAPD has to investigate a myriad of crimes, some that lead to serious matters, some not. This would include the CT case. I've read numerous articles in the past two months of the PD arresting numerous serious criminals, including many that were breaking into cars and homes. Go to the PD web site and read the press releases. I don't know what knowledge or expertise that you possess to question how the resources are being used? Do you know how the resources are structured and used? Somehow I doubt that you do, but yet you feel comfortbale enough to criticize what you know nothing about, and question whether or not we need a new Chief of Police.


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Posted by knowsbetter
a resident of another community
on Sep 10, 2008 at 7:04 pm

FYI
Web Link

to resident cop: Your job would be made much safer if drugs were legalized. You don't see any cops being shot for closing down a speakeasy anymore, do you?


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