Palo Alto: Man who tried to run over officers nabbed after late-night manhunt

Police charge 21-year-old San Jose man with assault with deadly weapon, other charges

A man who police said almost drove a stolen truck into a police officer in a downtown Palo Alto parking lot was captured early Sunday morning after a manhunt that concluded when he crashed the truck into a fence at Seale Park, fled into a residential area and was bitten by a police dog while preparing to hop a fence in a Loma Verde backyard.

The manhunt, which involved a helicopter and officers from surrounding jurisdictions, began just after 1 a.m., when Palo Alto officers spotted a man downtown who appeared to be driving a vehicle that was reported as stolen from East Palo Alto earlier this month.

Police reportedly saw a man driving the vehicle, a 1991 Nissan pick-up truck, on the 400 block of Emerson and began following the car. After seeing the the truck pull into a city lot at 551 High Street, between Hamilton and University avenues, two officers in separate cars turned on the sirens and began to approach its sole occupant.

Police said the suspect, later identified as Agusto Barron Angulo, ignored the two officers' commands and drove the truck right at them. While one officer had no trouble getting out of the truck's way, the other had to jump back into his patrol car to avoid getting struck, police said. The truck reportedly hit the patrol car's driver side door, causing minor damage and triggering a high-speed pursuit through the city streets.

After about 15 minutes of trying to dodge the police cruisers on his tail, Angulo allegedly drove to Seale Park, where he turned off his truck's headlights, drove onto the grass and crashed into the park's fence, knocking down a four-foot segment. Angulo, 21, of San Jose, then reportedly ditched the truck, fled off on foot and began hopping fences in the residential area.

Officers set up a perimeter in the area and requested help from a California Highway Patrol and officers from neighboring departments, including Stanford University, Mountain View and Menlo Park. A Palo Alto canine team led a yard-to-yard search for the suspect, who by this time was also wanted for assault with a deadly weapon.

At about 2:15 a.m., the canine team received word that Angulo was spotted by the CHP helicopter. Angulo was reportedly in the backyard of a home on the 900 block of Loma Verde Avenue, preparing to climb a fence from one yard to another near Louis Road.

The Palo Alto canine team quickly located Angulo and tried to capture him with the help of the police dog. Even after being bitten by the police dog, Angulo reportedly continued to resist arrest. After a brief struggle with Palo Alto officers, he was restrained and taken into custody, police said.

Police said Angulo suffered a minor injury to his left thigh, a cut on his right hand and scratches on his face. The two officers who were arresting him also had minor cuts and scratches on their hands and knees but reportedly did not need medical attention.

During the manhunt, police dispatchers made personal phone calls to houses in the affected area to keep them apprised of the situation. They did not activate the community alert notification because of the late hour.

After he was taken into custody, Angulo received medical attention at a local hospital and then cleared for incarceration. Angulo was booked into Santa Clara County Main Jail and charged with four felonies: assault with a deadly weapon, felony resisting arrest, reckless driving and vehicle theft.

While the police dog made it out of the scuffle unscathed, the grass at Seale Park was damaged by both the Nissan and the tow truck that eventually arrived to retrieve the stolen truck and that got stuck in the process. Both vehicles "eventually made it out," the police said in a statement. The Nissan truck was taken to the Palo Alto police station for evidence processing and is expected to ultimately be released to its lawful owner, police said.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the department's 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to or sent via text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984.

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2 people like this
Posted by Stop the Trolls
a resident of Mountain View
on Dec 28, 2014 at 12:51 pm

Ah, yes -- youth plus stupidity is NEVER a good combination. Especially when dealing with the police.

1 person likes this
Posted by Stockton resident
a resident of Palo Verde
on Dec 28, 2014 at 1:18 pm

I heard all the noise, the voices, the sirens, the helicopters for what went on over an hour or so. I was awoken by the noise and had no idea of what was going on. We were not one of the homes that were alerted by phone so we had no idea of what was going on. Although we heard the noise we were probably not close enough to be alerted, but since it woke us and disturbed us until approximately 2.30 we were definitely concerned.

4 people like this
Posted by Clifton resident
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 28, 2014 at 3:09 pm

Not so sure about that alert network. The guy was nabbed forty feet from my house and I never got any phone calls.

3 people like this
Posted by MidtownMom
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 28, 2014 at 3:19 pm

What alert network? This activity was within 30ft of my house and we received no phone call ..

6 people like this
Posted by Carla
a resident of Downtown North
on Dec 28, 2014 at 3:22 pm

Carla is a registered user.

Such a good dog!

16 people like this
Posted by William H.
a resident of Downtown North
on Dec 28, 2014 at 5:22 pm

1. Happy that the officers were not injured. It could have been a lot worse.

2. Sounds like great teamwork by all to catch this guy.

3. Happy that the owner of the car gets his car back.

4. Hoping that the bad guy is held accountable and faces judgment.

5. Grateful for the police officers who too often are criticized much and not appreciated enough. Sorry that you face far too many critics, who in reality know little or nothing about what they speak.

Like this comment
Posted by Juan
a resident of Palo Verde
on Dec 28, 2014 at 7:38 pm

[Post removed.]

2 people like this
Posted by anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Dec 29, 2014 at 8:37 am

What attracts these criminal nuts like this guy to Palo Alto - is it simply the basic bars here?! This is pretty outrageous behavior for a suburban area. How about a surcharge tax for anyone operating a bar in Palo Alto, to pay for all this extra police time/enforcement that is generally not an issue/needed/caused by us residents...
Bars are a nuisance.

3 people like this
Posted by Raymond
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Dec 29, 2014 at 10:21 am

Let's see; the car was stolen in East Palo Alto, but didn't come to police attention until it was driven in Palo Alto. There you have it. Stay in EPA and you won't get caught.

2 people like this
Posted by Gethin
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 29, 2014 at 10:44 am

Gethin is a registered user.

Great job PAPD. I will be interested to see what kind of sentence this loser gets.

8 people like this
Posted by Peter
a resident of College Terrace
on Dec 29, 2014 at 10:53 am

This looks like a model police operation: there was a threat to an officer, but no guns drawn (apparently), no guns fired. There was good cooperation with other enforcement agencies (Stanford, CHP, etc.). Suspect captured--by a dog, no less!--no choke holds, no guns. Congratulations all around! What makes the difference--the training our officers receive? The general level of peacefulness in Palo Alto? Let's find that ingredient and ship it around the country.

2 people like this
Posted by Charles Highway
a resident of Stanford
on Dec 29, 2014 at 11:04 am

[Post removed.]

1 person likes this
Posted by reality
a resident of Barron Park
on Dec 29, 2014 at 11:50 am

Peter if you think no guns were drawn on a guy like this for an event like this, you are most likely mistaken. I bet there were guns drawn on the similar incident a week ago as well.

2 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Dec 29, 2014 at 12:24 pm

@Peter -- also add the Fire Department participation with an engine plus ambulance. Not mentioned in the article, paramedics treated the suspect on the scene with great care before transport to the hospital.

It was cold out there, down into the 30s. I imagine that body heat would stand out nicely on the CHP helicopter camera. Great technology for search & rescue operations.

The Fire Department was busy much earlier in the evening at an alleged gas leak, but I guess we'll never hear about that. Probably for the best, as things tend to get blown out of proportion.

4 people like this
Posted by Juan
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Dec 29, 2014 at 12:46 pm

[Post removed.]

1 person likes this
Posted by Concerned Retiree
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 29, 2014 at 3:25 pm

Good police work! Glad this guy is off the streets.

2 people like this
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Dec 29, 2014 at 3:58 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

[Post removed; off topic.]

4 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Dec 29, 2014 at 4:19 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

[Post removed; off topic.]

3 people like this
Posted by Juan
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Dec 29, 2014 at 4:58 pm

[Post removed; off topic.]

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

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