Judge dismisses Victor Frost 'cussing' charge

Palo Alto panhandler arrested Sept. 22, 2009, after verbal altercation

A Santa Clara County Superior Court judge dismissed a misdemeanor charge for disturbing the peace against well-known Palo Alto panhandler Victor Frost on Monday (Sept. 27).

Frost was arrested Sept. 22, 2009, for allegedly shouting racial epithets at a homeless amputee near Whole Foods Market on Homer Avenue.

He was charged with disturbing the peace and using "words likely to produce an immediate violent reaction." If convicted, he could have received six months in jail, according to Palo Alto police.

Judge Julia Emede dismissed the charge this morning for lack of evidence, according to court papers.

Frost maintained the man was stealing money out of his collection bowl when he left his usual panhandling spot across the street from Whole Foods for a brief period.

Frost left his usual seat across Homer Avenue for an hour or two, at which time another panhandler, an African-American amputee in a wheelchair, claimed the spot, police spokesman Sgt. Dan Ryan said at the time of the arrest. Frost returned and allegedly shouted at the man. A woman called police when she saw Frost berating the man, Ryan said.

Frost will appear in court again on Oct. 4 to continue his challenge against the city for citations that he allegedly violated the city's sit-lie ordinance. The city issued 12 citations but reduced the number to six.

Last week Senior Assistant City Attorney Donald Larkin said the city would seek to reduce the six charges, which are misdemeanors, to infractions. Frost said he does not want the charges reduced -- infractions would mean his case would not be heard before a jury -- because he wants his day in court.

Related stories:

Frost fights reduction in misdemeanor charges

Victor Frost arrested for shouting racial epithets

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Like this comment
Posted by Ann
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 28, 2010 at 12:06 am

Senior Assistant City Attorney Donald Larkin knows he will never win with jury. His first attempt was a mistrial and this is the reason why he wants to change it to infractions, so there is no jury involve. Why can't the city leave Victor Frost alone?! There are so many important issues that the city and the police dept should be focusing on.

Like this comment
Posted by Bob
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 28, 2010 at 6:19 am

@ Ann,
You're right: there are so many issues the police should be focusing on, like the homeless guy who was taunting passers-by on University and Ramona not long ago, who, when finished his obnoxious histrionics, lay down in the street and refusing to move - snarling traffic - until an ambulance came (and who do you think paid for that several hundred dollar ambulance ride plus hospital fees)? There was also the fight between homeless people that knocked over a young lady in front of Restoration Hardware . . .
The shame of it is that Victor is gaming the system - with his apartment in Redwood City, etc. People are tired of him because they see through him. Not to mention the slurs he hurled at that African American man! Why do we excuse him for language that would get a radio commentator or comedian blackballed?!?

Like this comment
Posted by jazzman
a resident of another community
on Sep 28, 2010 at 7:05 am

victor frost is a trouble maker who knows he can get away with anything short of a violent crime.

don't know why a judge cannot issue a restraining order to keep people like him out of PA. I know the type, white anglo, uses the system, racist.

Like this comment
Posted by annoyed
a resident of another community
on Sep 28, 2010 at 8:58 am

Lack of evidence? Does that mean the victim didn't show up for court? That is not Don Larkin's fault.

Like this comment
Posted by Kate
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 28, 2010 at 9:17 am

Don't feed Victor Frost. Not a dime, not a farthing. He's obviously not starving.
He's a royal pain. Yes, Victor, I'm talking about you - reading this on your laptop!!

Like this comment
Posted by Ann
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 28, 2010 at 11:04 am

Victor is a good man. Maybe he is in the streets because of his mental health. Maybe he has an apt at Redwood City where he does not feel safe because the city decided to try to send him away. He is no trouble maker. He is not aggressive. He minds his own business. The incident with the man in a wheelchair was made a big deal by the same people who wants he out of Palo Alto. Imagine if someone you care about does not have the mental capacity to hold a job. Imagine if this person decides to live on the streets because it is ashamed of not succeeding in life and does not want to ask family and friends for help. People do not like to be on the streets. The are many reasons why they are on the streets. And, about our services, the Opportunity Center and other programs have so many rules, that maybe some folks who are on the streets cannot really follow. Maybe if they had the mind to follow rules, they would be elsewhere. Let's protect the people that need the most. Victor is a nice fellow and people write horrible things about him. It is not so easy to stay all day out on the sun or rain waiting for small donations. Give the guy a break!

Like this comment
Posted by narnia
a resident of Menlo Park
on Sep 29, 2010 at 10:39 pm

Ann, hate speech and more so at someone who is in a wheel chair is horrible and cruel. Victor Frost just lost a sliver of sympathy I had for him. He is a mental case if I ever saw one, but he exploits it very well. Frost knew what he was doing when he did it. He should have been charged under federal law and if I see him repeating the performance i'll do my best to have him face the consequences under federal law. So far he has been lucky.

Like this comment
Posted by Outside Observer
a resident of another community
on Sep 29, 2010 at 11:33 pm

How many innocent, unfortunate impoverished people could be helped by what society has spent on Victor Frost?

How many people would gladly take Victor Frost's place in the USA, and if they had that place, would rise to become productive members of society?

How many people suffer and die world wide, while we waste our "charity" on "parasites by choice" like Victor Frost?

Think about it....

A parasite by choice in America is a crime against humanity, as are their enablers.

Like this comment
Posted by A Humble Suggestion
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 30, 2010 at 7:45 pm

I propose a local PA initiative for the November ballot:
We grant the police 15 minutes alone with old Victor under a "don't ask, don't tell" policy.
THAT will solve the Frost problem!

Like this comment
Posted by Outside Observer
a resident of another community
on Oct 1, 2010 at 12:14 am

You are making a rational suggestion in an irrational environment.

Most anywhere else in the world your suggestion would work, but the PAPD straightening out Frost??? Can't ever happen in the PC world of PA, or anywhere in California for that matter.

Now, maybe if we gave him to some of Joe Arpaio's deputies, that just might work.

Like this comment
Posted by Watching Out.....
a resident of Green Acres
on Oct 1, 2010 at 2:41 am

The two Palo Alto cops beat the guy at ElCamino and Oxford Street. (You have short term memory loss?)

Like this comment
Posted by VoxPop
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 1, 2010 at 7:52 am

Outside Observer and A Humble Suggestion, how is it rational to propose beating up a mentally challenged person, or any person, for that matter.

Seems to me we have enacted laws to protect all citizens from that kind of behavior. Maybe you'd prefer the system they have in Russia and some other countries where that kind of behavior is rampant and tolerated, and ordinary citizens fear the authorities.

This not a matter of "PC" behavior, this is a matter of ethics, morality, and the rule of law.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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