An East Palo Alto man was arrested after allegedly causing a crash on U.S. Highway 101, fleeing and then stealing a car from a Palo Alto resident, according to the California Highway Patrol (CHP).
A preliminary CHP investigation found that Jose Juan Marquez, 36, was driving north on U.S. Highway 101 south of Oregon Expressway at around 3:40 p.m. at a high speed, CHP Officer Art Montiel said.
Marquez reportedly drove around a minivan that was traveling in the leftmost lane and slammed on his brakes, causing the driver of the minivan to brake and swerve to the left to avoid hitting Marquez's white Grand Cherokee. The minivan crashed into the center divide, Montiel said.
Marquez's nephew, who was sitting in the passenger seat, and two others in the backseat got out of the car to help the elderly couple in the minivan. While the three were tending to the couple, Marquez fled in the Cherokee but crashed as he exited onto Oregon, Montiel said.
Palo Alto police officer David Lee said that after Marquez crashed into a fence, he walked up to a home on the 1100 block of Oregon Ave. Marquez allegedly entered the home through an unlocked door and "surprised" the homeowner, according to police. Marquez then demanded the homeowner's car keys, which he handed over. The homeowner followed Marquez out of the house and confronted him. Marquez allegedly pushed the man, took the his car and fled, Lee said. The victim, a man in his 30s, did not suffer any injuries, police said.
Police later located the car and Marquez in East Palo Alto on the 1200 block of Saratoga Avenue, Lee said. Marquez was arrested on suspicion of carjacking and burglary.