Victor Frost charges to be swapped for new ones

Palo Alto drops misdemeanor charges against panhandler but plans to refile new charges

Palo Alto panhandler Victor Frost will face new charges in the city's continuing case against him for allegedly flouting the "sit-lie ordinance," according to the city attorney's office.

"We have decided to proceed on more recent citations in lieu of the originally filed charges," Assistant City Attorney Donald Larkin told the Weekly Monday.

Original 2008 charges for Frost's longtime panhandling on Homer Avenue across from Whole Foods Market were dismissed Monday morning at the city's request by Judge Julie Emede of the Santa Clara County Superior Court. The charges were dropped primarily because of witness difficulties, Larkin said.

"Our two main witnesses are unavailable, but there are more recent cases pending on the sit-lie ordinance that will proceed on the same timeline as the original case," Larkin said in an e-mail.

The new infractions will be based on 2010 citations, based on complaints about his panhandling.

Larkin said the infractions will proceed far more quickly through the court than the misdemeanor charges because no jury trial will be involved.

From a legal perspective, there should be little difference in the outcome.

"We weren't going to send the guy to jail," he said.

Frost's attorney, Rod O'Connor, said because the new charges will be infractions rather than full misdemeanor citations Frost will not face a jury trial but a judge.

Frost was initially cited 12 times for his regular panhandling across from Whole Foods Market. The citations were reduced to six earlier this year

A jury deadlocked in April in a previous case against Frost on the same set of charges.

Frost and O'Connor have fought the city's ordinance and the citations on Constitutional grounds, but Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Lucy Koh declined to dismiss the citations because Frost had to stand trial and be sentenced before a Constitutional challenge could be made, she said.

Judge Koh has since been named to the U.S. District Court.

Frost was scheduled to stand trial Monday (Oct. 4).

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Like this comment
Posted by Fred
a resident of Palo Verde
on Oct 5, 2010 at 10:58 am

This whole continued diatribe concerning Victor Frost is nothing but a shameful use of our already ultra liberal Palo Alto. He and his lawyer continually play the system for no other reason than noriety. It is all a waste of taxpayer money and does nothing but advance Palo Alto into a little San Francisco in regards to panhandlers. Get tough Palo Alto!, the ACLU and the court system that keeps catering to such behaviour as continually exhibeted by Mr. Frost. The police department and city officials should get tough and get him off the street. He is nothing but an exhibitionist, has funds and a place to live, and is fat with plenty of food and has certaintly abuse his fifteen minutes of fame.

Like this comment
Posted by Elizabeth
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 5, 2010 at 11:30 am

Perhaps instead of turning the unfortunate into criminals we should add a few more benches (instead of removing them).

Everyone has the right to sit down when they're weary, and to relax and enjoy a beautiful day instead of being shuffled off and away because they don't fit some pathetic narrow view of what is appropriate in attire and appearance.

While I know Victor's intent in positioning himself there is in the hopes of assistance, he is not aggressive or offensive. He's just there with his sign.

Aren't you glad it's not you that has to walk that path?

Have a heart!

Like this comment
Posted by Elizabeth
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 5, 2010 at 11:32 am

p.s. Fred to assume someone is fat because they are well fed reflects ignorance.

It is much more likely that the fat is the result of cheap, starchy food and nutritional imbalance that causes health & body imbalances.

There but for fortune...

Like this comment
Posted by Fed Up
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 5, 2010 at 12:37 pm

We've had years and years of this fool feeling entitled to panhandle and cry poor, when he apparently has some subsidized housing arrangement and doubtless receives General Assistance. I can't say this for sure, but I doubt he's ever signed up for the Downtown Streets Team program to work for a living.

I applaud the City for not lying down (pun intended) and taking any more from Frost.

Like this comment
Posted by Elizabeth
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 5, 2010 at 12:38 pm

Elizabeth - you obviously have no idea about Frost's behavior in the past. Cursing. Racial slurs. Physical confrontations.

How does that fit your narrow view?

Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Oct 5, 2010 at 1:04 pm

What's the deal w/women always defending Frost? On a similar, earlier thread, it was someone named Anne.

Frost is a disrespectful, nasty person. Perhaps Elizabeth will donate a bench so that Frost & his ilk can hang out & harass people all day?

Like this comment
Posted by concerned citizen
a resident of Community Center
on Oct 5, 2010 at 1:11 pm

I just can't believe that we are still arguing about Victor Frost. The man certainly appears to have mental problems and is enjoying his 15 minutes of fame (which has stretched into "hours" of fame) at our expense. I personally have seen him yelling at people who have come out of Whole Foods and are trying to go to their cars. Some people, I think, also have an agenda to irritate him and succeed in that goal.

That being said, aren't we all pretty much tired of this guy who certainly looks like he's able to work. I guess sweeping streets in PA and/or helping look after the downtown neighborhood is beneath the "ever personable" Victor. Let's take care of this issue now and move on to more important things. He's probably suffering from some form(s) of mental illness (I have a sister who does, too -- "borderline personality disorder" -- something that is much worse than it sounds and we've had to deal with that over the years.) Some people you can't help, but old Victor is and has been old news for quite a while. Please get this settled. I hesitate to shop at Whole Foods if he's sitting across the street. Random thoughts, but Palo Alto, please fix this situation which has got to be costing us taxpayers money that we probably don't choose to spend in this case.

Like this comment
Posted by Denese
a resident of Meadow Park
on Oct 5, 2010 at 1:29 pm

The city is constantly talking cuts, cuts, cuts, use our resource better. How much are you getting paid to do this.
Put pride aside and move on. Prosecute some real criminals.

Like this comment
Posted by Blaine
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 5, 2010 at 1:50 pm

Elizabeth, convenient for you to feel that way, until he's sitting in your neighborhood. Fact is he has crossed the line of someone who is simply taking a rest.

Like this comment
Posted by Amused
a resident of another community
on Oct 5, 2010 at 2:55 pm

There is SUCH an EASY answer to these problems, and it is NOT to push Victor et al to other Palo Alto neighborhoods or to other communities.

But being Palo Alto, none of you will ever think of it, preferring the grueling way instead; one in which you all yell and scream at each other in online rants.

Who needs TV when we, your neighboring communities, have Palo Alto?

Like this comment
Posted by Sallie
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 5, 2010 at 3:58 pm

I am a disabled person who has been afraid to go to Whole Foods for years because of Victor Frost. If you are old or disabled and move slowly he takes his nasty comments out on you. He called me a whore. I am on the Altar Guild at St. Marks Episcopal, and no whore. I complained, but no one did anything. Enough. Throw his ugly face in jail. I'm tired of turning the other cheek.

Like this comment
Posted by Sharon
a resident of South of Midtown
on Oct 5, 2010 at 4:29 pm

I too had a confrontation with Victor Frost. He followed me to my car and grabbed my shopping bag, all the time yelling the "c" word at me, and demanding food and money.

I should have called the police and had him arrested. Instead, I shop at a different store. But he recognizes my car and still to this day hassles me.

I have no idea why I attracted his attention. I can just believe I'm not the only one. Thank God for the young man who came along and intervened, yelling at Frost until I was safely locked inside my car. Bless that anonymous young man.

Like this comment
Posted by Unbeliabeable
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 5, 2010 at 5:11 pm

Can the city find other ways to spent the money? They could fixed the uneven sidewalks, I trip on one of them and almost fall. It is ridiculous.

Like this comment
Posted by Shamed
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 5, 2010 at 10:16 pm

Palo Alto DA,

Traveling around the world, I feel very fortunate to live in the US and in Palo Alto. There are so many human being who live in un-thinkable conditions. PA is ranked one of the most expensive cities in the US. I feel shamed by the rich-town DA who additively is going after a less fortunate.

DA, don't you have any more important cases to process?

Like this comment
Posted by A woman who does not defend Victor Frost
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Oct 6, 2010 at 11:01 am

Victor Frost can be aggressive and offensive. I witnessed him swearing and yelling at a disabled panhandler in a wheelchair, advancing on him aggressively and in a threatening manner. He has already taken up a lot of my time: I've had a police officer come to my house 3 times to deliver a subpoena to testify in court against Mr. Frost. The police officer was just as tired of the whole charade as I was. Our police officers have better things to do with their time. Victor Frost is an offensive nuisance and a clever manipulator. He is not a victim.

Like this comment
Posted by JackFlap
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 6, 2010 at 11:52 am

I'm sorry Elizabeth, but he is not just resting his weary bones!

Like this comment
Posted by Shamed
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 6, 2010 at 12:35 pm

Enlightened people should take high road. Eye-for-eye tactics harden downward spiral response, not to mention breading future generations of Mr. Foster alike to come.

Drop the case and move on. Take high road.

Like this comment
Posted by T
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 6, 2010 at 12:59 pm

what a waste of resources

Like this comment
Posted by Edith
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 6, 2010 at 2:27 pm

As a merchant in the "neighborhood," I am not surprised by the unwillingness of our City Attorney to enforce the law. We all have been living with this for a long time. Even though the laws are on the books, the police cannot enforce them without permission from
Don Larkin.
I am tired of his:
Laying down the on the sidewalk, fully prone, on hot days.
Using my back alley as his personal toilet when he thinks no one is working at my building.
Agressive verb asaults towards anyone who he feel is in his way.
Peeing on the sidewalk because he is locked out of all businesses in the area. ---Look at the stains on the sidewalk.
His Presence at his position on Homer frightens away business for me and others.
He knows how the system works and has figured out a the means to get around everything because the City will not challenge him.
What happens when this part of the charges against him are settled?
Does that mean he can continue to park himself within my vicinity?
Does the Law mean anything?
Will the police site him again for breaking the law?
Hey, Don Larkin, you need to answer up.
He was given free housing paid by the Taxpayers to get him off of Homer. Does that now mean that he will lose his freeby?

Like this comment
Posted by Just Wondering
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 6, 2010 at 10:56 pm

How come all these "bleeding hearts" don't invite good old Victor into their own homes??

Like this comment
Posted by John Burgess
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 6, 2010 at 11:27 pm

Where's Mr. Giuliani these days when you need him. PA could hire him to fix this and it would be all over within a week.

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

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