Man sought in gun-brandishing road-rage incident in Palo Alto

Police: Woman who feared a shooting ducked behind dashboard

Palo Alto police are seeking a man who allegedly brandished a handgun at a woman during a road-rage incident on Thursday, Feb. 11.

The victim, a woman in her 20s, had been driving south on Alma Street in the late afternoon when she noticed that another motorist was driving fast behind her near Kingsley Avenue. As the two vehicles continued traveling south, the male driver allegedly swerved around the victim and pulled in front of her. He then abruptly applied his brakes, causing the victim to slam on her brakes to avoid rear-ending him. The victim honked at the man. She did not know what, if anything, had prompted the man to focus on her, police said in a statement.

When they reached the 3300 block of Alma between El Verano and Loma Verde avenues at about 4:04 p.m., the man came to a complete stop in the roadway, exited his car and yelled at the victim.

He allegedly took out a black handgun from his waistband and pointed it at her, police said.

The woman ducked down below her dashboard, fearing that the man might shoot her, police said. After a few seconds of not hearing the man shouting any longer, she looked up and saw that he had sped off southbound on Alma. The victim called the police to notify them of the incident about an hour later, police said.

The man is described as a white male in his 40s, about 6 feet tall and 200 pounds. He had a shaved head, a stocky build and a muscular upper body. He was wearing a gray shirt, blue jeans and blue shoes. He was driving a 1970s or 1980s vintage gray Chevrolet Camaro.

The victim might be able to work with a police artist to produce a sketch of the suspect. Police said they would release a sketch as soon as it is available if one is produced.

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

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33 people like this
Posted by pro tip
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 12, 2016 at 10:57 am

Pro tip: if you are in a car with the engine running and someone in front of you points a gun at you, just run him over. Ducking is not going to stop the bullets from hitting you. Anyone aiming a gun at another person is at least planning to shoot. No jury will find you guilty of running over a man pointing a gun at you.

18 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 12, 2016 at 5:24 pm

Curmudgeon is a registered user.

Heavyset middle aged man with gun feels threatened by young woman without gun. Wow! Now I understand why the NRA defends the Second Amendment.

Like this comment
Posted by CoachFromAnotherTown
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 16, 2016 at 11:35 am

CoachFromAnotherTown is a registered user.

This perp will be arrested with 72 hours. He put his disgusting-self out their enough for a great description long with his old jalopy. Nice knowing ya pal.

5 people like this
Posted by It Never Ends
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 18, 2016 at 10:03 am

It Never Ends is a registered user.

Actually, if you look at the constitution, the federalist papers, British historical common law and recent U.S. supreme court rulings it is pretty clear why the NRA defends our 2nd amendment rights. Our founders were adamant that the right to bear arms is an inherent human right and the primary safeguard to preventing tyranny from the government.

It is not a coincidence that gun ownership was number two. They felt that without the 2nd amendment the rest of the bill of rights would be in jeopardy. An armed citizenry was also expected to be a last line of defense for self protection and against foreign or domestic enemies of the republic.

So let's not confuse the alleged criminal act of the road rage driver with a cornerstone of our freedoms.

Just because someone says something inappropriate should we do away with freedom of speech? What about when a subgroup hijacks a faith should we eliminate freedom of religion?

When the government asks Apple to provide a master key to their iPhones should we give in to unreasonable searches and seizures? When the secretary of state sets up a separate unauthorized non-secure email system and deletes half the messages should she be denied due process or the freedom from self-incrimination?

Courts sometimes make mistakes so should we stop using juries made up of our peers rather than government appointed experts? Finally, just because we can make someone talk using enhanced interrogation techniques does that mean should look the other way when applying cruel and unusual punishments?

One does not have to look far to see that our liberties outlined in the bill of rights are constantly being challenged. The described behavior of the driver had nothing to do with the NRA or responsible gun ownership.

7 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 18, 2016 at 12:40 pm

Curmudgeon is a registered user.

"Our founders were adamant that the right to bear arms is an inherent human right and the primary safeguard to preventing tyranny from the government."

So our Founding Fathers knew that burly middle aged men would need guns to protect themselves from the tyranny of unarmed young women.

4 people like this
Posted by It Never Ends
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 18, 2016 at 6:39 pm

It Never Ends is a registered user.

Respectfully, I believe you have it reversed. They had the wisdom to know that the police can't be everywhere and as a last resort vulnerable individuals need guns to protect themselves from burly middle aged men.

People that go around waving firearms at others do not represent the principles of the NRA or the 2nd amendment. They are simply called criminals.

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

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