Booze dispute at Safeway nets four arrests

Three men and juvenile charged with robbery after altercation at Midtown Palo Alto supermarket

Three men and a juvenile were arrested after failed attempts to buy -- and later, steal -- alcohol from a Safeway in Midtown Palo Alto Sunday morning (March 13).

The men, Francisco Aguilar, 20, and Amador Maldonado, 25, both of East Palo Alto, and Enrique Perez, 20, of Menlo Park, entered the Safeway with the 14-year-old boy at around 2 a.m. and tried to buy alcohol, Palo Alto police Lt. Doug Keith said.

A store employee told them that the store doesn't sell alcohol between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m.

The men allegedly became angry and threatened to hurt the employee. When he still wouldn't sell them the alcohol, Aguilar hit the employee and tried to throw a four-pack of cranberry juice at his head, Keith said. He missed. His three companions, meanwhile, tried, and failed, to open the locked alcohol cabinet in the Middlefield Road store.

Maldonado, Perez and the juvenile ultimately fled from the store empty-handed while Aguilar stayed behind and was arrested inside the Safeway shortly after the incident. The other three suspects were arrested minutes later at the nearby 711, Keith said.

All four were charged with robbery, he said. No one was hurt.

Gennady Sheyner

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Like this comment
Posted by Hulkamania
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 14, 2011 at 1:30 pm

Dudes were serious about getting their drink on.

Like this comment
Posted by Chris
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 14, 2011 at 3:43 pm

To Frank, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood,

Your comment is probably one of the most Palo Altoad thing I have read in a long time. Your opinion about "securing" some border is the exact reason why East Palo Alto has such problems. Just a question...what is your view about the Mexican/American border? Think hard before you state your answer because you may make yourself look even more confused and shallow.

Like this comment
Posted by Sonny
a resident of College Terrace
on Mar 14, 2011 at 4:22 pm

I've thought long and hard and came up with the idea that this is where the crime is coming from.

Like this comment
Posted by Chris
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 14, 2011 at 7:36 pm


So build a wall and get some Palo Alto/East Palo Alto border agents? How many hours in your life have you spent in East Palo Alto?

Think long and hard about why only a creek and a highway make such a difference between our two communities (it's like that with Menlo Park and the east Menlo area as well).

Would love to hear your ideas on a resolution so then maybe Palo Alto residents can stop being so blind to the real issues. Don't tell me that Palo Alto residents want "those" people from EPA to stay over there. I thought Palo Alto was about diversity, open-mindedness, and helping others. That last sentence made me giggle a bit.

Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Mar 14, 2011 at 8:52 pm

Since most of the "help" in PA comes from lower income communities, PA would be SOL w/out EPA. I remember morons from PA I grew up w/who did this sort of thing w/a person of legal age in PA & in Whiskey Gulch, then they'd brag about it at parties. Morons are everywhere, especially when they drink.

We almost got killed on ECR Sat night by some creep who couldn't drive - of course they went into Stanford, just as we did. Dangerous, stupid people are in all strata of life - the trick is to figure out hoe to live your life w/out them hurting you.

I am soooo glad these losers were caught.

Moral: young men + alcohol = bad combo, thanks to hormones, poor judgement &, oh yeah, those hormones. Please, pay more attention to what you're NOT noticing - age & gender. It's very easy to point to the "outsider" causing problems, but many of those problems are caused by our own.

Like this comment
Posted by Chill My Friend, Chill
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 14, 2011 at 9:46 pm

C'mon, the dudes threw a 4-pack of juice boxes at the guy, not pulled a knife or gun - just some drunks who didn't want the buzz to wear off is all - no need to go all "border fence" on us.

And by the way, last time I checked, we weren't living in the Bible Belt - why the he-l-l can't you buy a six pack between 2 and 6 AM????

Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Mar 15, 2011 at 12:15 am

Yeah, be more vigilant about the border - where The Four Seasons & all the law firms are! Vigilance is indeed needed, Frank - or we'll continue to get our pockets picked by the most adept thieves - the lawyers & large corporations. Vigilance is needed the next time you go for a pizza at Quattro or that bowl of soup @ SF Soup Company.

Like this comment
Posted by K
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 15, 2011 at 10:48 am

2 AM. why was the store open? ya no alcohol between 2 am - 6am.
the stores hours are posted as such;
2811 Middlefield Rd
Palo Alto, CA 94306
Store Phone: 650-321-8400
Store Hours: Open 24 Hours
Pharmacy Phone: (650)321-9731
Pharmacy Hours: Mon-Fri 9:00AM-8:00PM
Sat-Sun 9:00AM-5:30PM
Again why was the store open at 2am sunday?

Like this comment
Posted by Enough!
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Mar 15, 2011 at 10:49 am

geniuses. guess a few more dead brain cells won't hurt those guys a bit. entitlement issues, can't have what they want so they strike the person doing the right thing. that situation could have escalated into something far more serious. harsh sentencing and mandatory drug and alcohol counseling. period.

Like this comment
Posted by Enough!
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Mar 15, 2011 at 10:54 am

I agree with you Hmmm on scary neighbors. At least you can call the cops on the obvious law breakers. The more educated, miserable type neighbor is a more insidious evil. We had one of those dual degreed (Stanford and Berkeley) in our neighborhood, she was paranoid, ligitious and really pretty evil. Roomates would move out of her house in the dead of the night. Her own landlord feared her. We had a neighborhood meeting about her at the police department, 11 households showed up. Trouble is, they make sure they never put one foot over the legal line. There should be more than 'vexatious litigant' lables applied to those horrors.

Like this comment
Posted by L
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 15, 2011 at 11:45 am

K, can you read? Your own post showed that the store is open 24 hours. The limited hours refer to the pharmacy. So Safeway was open at 2AM because it is a 24 hour store. Duh.

Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 15, 2011 at 2:33 pm

It seems that if Safeway had sold the alcohol then the crime would not have occurred. These people wanted to buy alcohol and when refused they stole it.

Perhaps we should be asking why alcohol is not sold between 2.00 am and 6.00 am? If it is to deter crime, then the rule didn't prevent crime, but possibly caused it.

Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Mar 15, 2011 at 5:02 pm

Did you hear about the Palo Alto youths who threatened their family w/weapons last week? There were 2 separate incidents just a couple days apart.

Did you hear about the PA lt. who was moonlighting as an unlicensed private eye & harassing people?

Did you hear about the PA muckety muck businessman who tried to bribe an activist then complained to the police that the activist was trying to extort the money?

Did you hear about the PA cop who was sexually battering women? I knew that guy & he was pretty shady.

Want me to keep going?
Look to your own, people, look to your own. Everyone has garbage in their communities, & some are better at hiding it than others. $$ greases those wheels.

Like this comment
Posted by Barron Park
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 15, 2011 at 5:40 pm


Are you really suggesting that the problem that night was Safeway's insistence on following the law and refusing to sell alcohol? Astonishing.

So, when someone does not like a law (Sect. 25631 of the ABC Act, in this case) and reacts violently to its enforcement, the problem is with law, right? Amazing.

(Of course, discussing that the rightfulness of a law itself is always open game. No problem with that. Discussed. With law-makers. Not with theft and the violent assault a poor clerk working graveyard!)

Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Mar 15, 2011 at 8:22 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

Enough! - I wonder if our neighbors were related? Whatever happened to her? What did she do that compelled 11 households to go to a meeting at the police station?

This guy was so litigious, he had the maximum number of lawsuits going in SM & SC counties. He did scare the landlady for awhile after getting her to pity him for many years. He had a crush on a county employee & crank called the guy constantly. He harassed and slandered me to the point that I had to start calling the police on him. Alas, he then got into trouble for defrauding social security & evicted for nonpayment of rent. Instead of keeping his issues between the landlord & himself, he legally "vomited" them all over unsuspecting neighbors & roommates. I'd warn people moving in w/him & they'd ignore me - until he went Jekyl 'n Hyde on them, then they always snuck over to my place to ask about him.

These types are smart, informed about their rights & will either do everyone on the edge of the law or do something illegal when they think that they can get away w/it.

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

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