News

Pair arrested for early morning robbery

Thieves allegedly struck victim in downtown Palo Alto

A downtown Palo Alto robbery in which a man was allegedly hit multiple times resulted in the arrest of two men Saturday morning, police announced Sunday.

Police booked 21-year-old Jeffery Martin Amaral of Santa Clara and 21-year-old Durell Claudel Crooks of Menlo Park on one felony count of robbery each.

At about 2:35 a.m. on Nov. 21, a man in his 20s was sitting on a bench near University Avenue and Bryant Street when four men approached him, according to a police press release.

After a brief conversation, either Amaral or Crooks allegedly demanded the young man's hat. When the victim refused, one of the men allegedly struck him in the face and head multiple times and took his hat. The second man also struck him in the face and knocked him to the ground before taking his cell phone, the police stated.

Amaral and Crooks, along with the other two males, headed east on University, and they were detained by police minutes later in the 300 block.

The victim's injuries were minor and did not require immediate medical treatment, the police stated. The man's hat and telephone were found in Amaral's and Crooks' possession and returned.

Police are asking that anyone with information about these incidents call the police dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to paloalto@tipnow.org or sent via text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984.

— Palo Alto Weekly Staff

Comments

Like this comment
Posted by student
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 22, 2015 at 11:31 pm

Saturday night after the Big Game - were they trying to steal a Stanford hat or a Cal hat?


2 people like this
Posted by Common sense
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 22, 2015 at 11:34 pm

[Post removed.]


28 people like this
Posted by Plane Speaker
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 22, 2015 at 11:55 pm

>> After a brief conversation, either Amaral or Crooks allegedly demanded the young man's hat.

When something like this happens to someone the experience can stay with them for decades. The negative feeling of being ganged up on and attacked and being powerless or afraid to defend ones self because of overwhelming strength or numbers is something that no one should have to experience, and that should be taken extremely seriously by the law, whether it is just a hat or whatever. It is the principle of civilization and those thugs who go against it, in my book, are just like ISIS, and they cannot be tolerated.

I just have a feeling that someone who engages in behavior like this is already lost to evil and does not deserve to exist in our wonderful community, or anyone else's.


Like this comment
Posted by student reply
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 23, 2015 at 12:31 am

@student: It sounds like it was Friday night, Saturday AM. @common sense: Article states they demanded the hat and they probably demanded the phone too.


2 people like this
Posted by Fact Check
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 23, 2015 at 6:57 am

What this article doesn't report is that these two were not the culprits, weren't charged and released! Get all the facts.


2 people like this
Posted by student
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 23, 2015 at 8:23 am

@Fact Check - what is the difference between "booked into jail" and "charged"?


6 people like this
Posted by student
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 23, 2015 at 8:25 am

From the official police press release: "Police booked 21-year-old Jeffery Martin Amaral of Santa Clara and 21-year-old Durell Claudel Crooks of Menlo Park into the Santa Clara County Main Jail, each for one felony count of robbery."


5 people like this
Posted by student
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 23, 2015 at 9:15 am

>> hat this article doesn't report is that these two were not the culprits, weren't charged and released! Get all the facts.
@Fact check: "The man's hat and telephone were found in Amaral's and Crooks' possession and returned."
The police found the stolen items on them and named them, and charged them. Where does it say they were released? I'm not sure the police would publish slander without evidence, so if you have facts - source it.


Like this comment
Posted by Citizen
a resident of Professorville
on Nov 23, 2015 at 10:30 am

Why did the cops detain them originally? How was the victim able to report so quickly w/o a cell phone?


3 people like this
Posted by Gethin
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 23, 2015 at 11:19 am

Gethin is a registered user.

Good job PAPD catching these thugs so quickly. I would like to think that this will give them pause for thought and they will cease to continue this kind of behaviour.


1 person likes this
Posted by Plane Speaker
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 23, 2015 at 11:41 am

Fact Check ... you are not, by chance, lawyering for these ... citizens??


Like this comment
Posted by member
a resident of Woodland Ave. area (East Palo Alto)
on Nov 23, 2015 at 12:05 pm

>> Citizen: Why did the cops detain them originally? How was the victim able to report so quickly w/o a cell phone?
The press release shows about seven minutes passed before 911 was alerted. I'm not so sure that's "so quickly", but being downtown Palo Alto after a Friday night, there were likely a few people nearby, and lots of cops on patrol. It being Palo Alto and a business district, they likely have cameras in the area. I
only wonder if they GPS pinged the stolen phone and located it, along with the description of the muggers from the victim and which way they fled. It's likely a drunken-after-bars mistake and not a planned robbery, but it might be costly for these two young guys, especially considering it looks like at least one of them is currently a football player (Crooks #26) for San Mateo Community College.


1 person likes this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 23, 2015 at 1:29 pm

It's about 60 seconds to walk to the police station.


Like this comment
Posted by Kazu
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 23, 2015 at 7:15 pm

"How was the victim able to report so quickly w/o a cell phone?"

The cops probably tracked the location reported by the cell phone. There are plenty of free anti-theft apps that allow one to locate a lost or stolen phone quite accurately.


3 people like this
Posted by ChrisC
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 23, 2015 at 7:51 pm

ChrisC is a registered user.

Could the Palo Alto Weekly/Online please have a workshop in how to use the word "alleged" and derivatives? It is alleged that these two suspects did it; it is Not alleged that it happened.


Like this comment
Posted by concerned Mother
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 24, 2015 at 9:28 am

First of all this story is not completely true, there was not 4 men involved, there was no assault, and before the media and all you people convict these 2 college students where is innocent until proven guilty. We all know that situations can look one way but be a totally different way. As a mother I am disgusted by how all is already convicting these 2 young men. How dare you call them thugs, and all. Also an assault is an assault these, even if the victims injuries were minor these boys would have been charged with Assault but they were not. Please take into consideration what this is doing to them before all the facts are out there. All of you people have already convicted these 2 young men before all the facts are present.


3 people like this
Posted by Plane Speaker
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 24, 2015 at 2:08 pm

Concerned Mother ...
> First of all this story is not completely true, there was not 4 men involved, there was no assault,

And you know this for a fact ... how? Were you there and a witness? So, you are alleging the victim is liar?

> As a mother I am disgusted by how all is already convicting these 2 young men.

What does motherhood have to do with this? Was one of the "boys" your son?


1 person likes this
Posted by resident
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 24, 2015 at 4:22 pm

Reply for "Concerned Mother":
"First of all this story is not completely true, there was not 4 men involved,"
-> The report says four men were involved, but only two were charged likely as they had the victim's stolen belongings. I presume that you're possibly the mother for one of the charged youth, based on your knowledge.

"there was no assault, and before the media and all you people convict these 2 college students where is innocent until proven guilty. We all know that situations can look one way but be a totally different way. As a mother I am disgusted by how all is already convicting these 2 young men. How dare you call them thugs, and all."
-> Yes, situations can look one way, and be another. I don't think there is any argument there from me, however, the two men did have the stolen possessions on them according to the press release. It's hard to believe two gentlemen at this point. I'm unsure why the victim would lie to the police about being assaulted as well as robbed. As a mother, if your children were assaulted and robbed and the mother of the person who assaulted your child was in disbelief - it's understandable/normal for you to (want to) believe your child and for them to (want to) believe theirs. I do believe a thug is defined as a common criminal, if not more often, a violent criminal. I know that you say they are college students, which also makes me more-so believe you're a member of the accused's family - however the fact that they are students does not gain empathy when they have robbed.

"Also an assault is an assault these, even if the victims injuries were minor these boys would have been charged with Assault but they were not."
-> I believe, but don't quote me, that a felony robbery charge encompasses assault and theft, which is why they would simply not just be charged for assault and then theft. It's the combination of the two, violent/intimidating robbery (likely second degree), for which the press statement says that these two will be charged with.

"Please take into consideration what this is doing to them before all the facts are out there. All of you people have already convicted these 2 young men before all the facts are present."
-> The facts thus far are that they had stolen property. It's a pretty damning realization, but I hope that justice is served once all of the facts are stated and if they are innocent, then let's hope the facts will prove them so, and if not, I hope them locked up for the safety of others and their debts to society repaid.

If you are the family of one of the boys and you truly believe them innocent, then I suggest that you have the police get any footage from the area where the altercation happened. It will give light to the facts/solace that you are seeking.

Palo Alto deserves to be a safe and just community.


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

He said – she said – who is lying? Justice Brett Kavanaugh or PA resident Christine Ford
By Diana Diamond | 69 comments | 6,587 views

Let's Talk Internships
By John Raftrey and Lori McCormick | 1 comment | 1,014 views

Couples: Sex and Connection (Chicken or Egg?)
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 866 views

Zucchini Takeover
By Laura Stec | 1 comment | 779 views

Populism: A response to the failure of the elites: Palo Alto edition
By Douglas Moran | 0 comments | 688 views