A man who allegedly pulled a knife on police officers on Monday was arrested after an officer tackled him from behind and disarmed him, according to the Palo Alto Police Department.
Martin Robert Shelley, 47, of San Jose, was booked into the Santa Clara Main Jail for brandishing and resisting arrest, both misdemeanors. A felony probation violation was added to the charges after it was discovered that Shelley is on active probation in Santa Clara County stemming from a felony conviction of driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, police said.
At about 8:05 p.m. Monday, a police officer responding to an unrelated call at the Stanford Shopping Center on El Camino Real observed security personnel following a man as he left the shopping center. He had reportedly thrown things inside the Starbucks coffee shop and allegedly stole from various stores. Security asked for police assistance as they followed him to Vi at Palo Alto, a senior-living facility, at 620 Sand Hill Road.
Shelley went inside the facility, police said, and a short time later, as officers were preparing to go inside the building to search for him, Shelley walked out. Officers ordered him to stop, but Shelley repeatedly refused and then ran along the outside of the building. He pulled out a pocket knife with a 1 1/2-inch blade and pointed it at the officers, police said. Shelley stopped running and started yelling at the officers after they surrounded him.
Police officers ordered him to drop the knife, but he refused and dared them multiple times to shoot and kill him, police said. During the standoff, an officer tackled Shelley from behind and disarmed him. Several officers then struggled with Shelley until they safely handcuffed him.
Shelley sustained a minor injury to the left side of his forehead as a result of landing on the ground after being tackled, police said. Shelley was transported to a local hospital where he was medically cleared. No officers were injured during the incident, and no one at Vi at Palo Alto was injured or a victim of any crime as a result of the incident, police said.
Shelley was in possession of items that appeared to be from different stores at the Stanford Shopping Center. It is unclear at this time if those items were legitimately purchased or stolen, according to police.
"Our officers were confronted with an armed, belligerent suspect," police spokesman Lt. Zach Perron stated in a press release. "They exercised tremendous restraint under very challenging circumstances."
Anyone with information pertaining to the incident is asked to call the police department's 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed message or voice mail to 650-383-8984.