Police: Road-rage suspect brandishes gun, gets nabbed in Palo Alto

Stanford Health Care employee located and cited after extensive search at Stanford Shopping Center

A man who Palo Alto police said brandished a gun at another motorist during a road-rage incident on Embarcadero Road Tuesday morning was arrested that afternoon near Stanford Shopping Center after a police search that included a lockdown at Nordstrom.

The man, 28-year-old Charles Christian Simbulan Blanco of Fremont, received a criminal citation for brandishing a firearm and for possession of a concealed firearm and released at the scene, according to police.

Officers learned about the incident shortly after 10:40 a.m., when they received a call from a man who reported that he had just been threatened by another motorist. The caller said he was with his wife, driving on Embarcadero near Middlefield Road, when another motorist made an unsafe lane change that led to an “ongoing road rage incident that continued for several blocks,” according to police. When the two cars reached Quarry and Arboretum roads, the motorist allegedly pointed a firearm at him and verbally threatened him, the victim said.

When officers arrived at the scene, near Stanford Shopping Center, they found Blanco's car, a white 2016 Honda Fit, parked in the Nordstrom parking lot, at 550 Sand Hill Road. It was unoccupied, police said.

Officers proceeded to search the department store and instituted a precautionary lockdown that lasted about 40 minutes. Police said about 225 Nordstrom patrons and employees were asked to take shelter inside the store while officers confirmed that Blanco was no longer in the area.

Though officers didn't find Blanco at Nordstrom, they learned during the course of the search that he worked at Stanford Health Care, at 300 Pasteur Drive. He was detained without incident at about 12:40 p.m. Police then returned to Blanco's vehicle and recovered an unloaded .45-caliber Glock pistol from the front-door pocket of the car.

Police said Blanco also had loaded magazines for the pistol in the glove compartment. Blanco had legally possessed both the ammunition, police added. He was, however, cited for brandishing the firearm and for not properly stowing a concealed firearm.

Police said Blanco works as a transporter at Stanford Health Care, which is part of the Stanford Medicine hospital network.

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


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7 people like this
Posted by shopper
a resident of Stanford
on Sep 27, 2016 at 12:38 pm

[Post removed.]

10 people like this
Posted by Ah, I see now
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 27, 2016 at 12:53 pm

driving angrily, brandishing a about advertising that you've got some "short comings" ;)

24 people like this
Posted by Ah, I see now
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 27, 2016 at 12:57 pm

Funny call to husband: "No really honey, I can't come home. No, they've locked us inside Nordstroms....I am not lying! All we can do is shop and try on shoes, but the cafe upstairs is a nice break. I'll be home 4 hours after they unlock the doors"

6 people like this
Posted by IheartPA
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Sep 27, 2016 at 1:11 pm

IheartPA is a registered user.

[Post removed.]

11 people like this
Posted by Marcus
a resident of another community
on Sep 27, 2016 at 8:33 pm

And this guy transports patients for his job, presumably in a motor vehicle. Does anyone else think something is wrong with this picture? If the disease doesn't kill them the road-rager will.

20 people like this
Posted by Scary
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 27, 2016 at 9:31 pm

Cant believe all the humorous comments here and that these offenses are both misdemeanors. He points a gun at another person and threatens them and that's a misdemeanor, how can that be? He sounds like a head case with a short fuse who should be doing jail time instead of being released.

Also would be very interesting to find out what actions the victim took during the incident. Usually takes 2 parties to escalate a situation to this point.

5 people like this
Posted by AllYouCanEat
a resident of Mountain View
on Sep 28, 2016 at 9:07 am


The transporters at Stanford Hospital only use wheelchairs. They do not drive vehicles.

13 people like this
Posted by Jerry
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 28, 2016 at 9:17 am

So there is a job opening at Stanford now?

5 people like this
Posted by Anne
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 28, 2016 at 10:02 am

Yet another reason not to get my health care at Stanford!

BTW transporters in hospital use wheelchairs AND gurneys to transport patients around the hospital.

8 people like this
Posted by Calm down
a resident of Stanford
on Sep 28, 2016 at 12:13 pm

This is an odd story. The "unsafe lane change" occurred at Embarcadero near Middlefield Road but the firearm was brandished more than a mile away at Quarry and Arboretum...on the way to Stanford Hospital where the suspect works. Did the other driver just happen to be going the same way by coincidence? Or was he tailing Mr. Blanco, angry because he cut him off? Who is responsible for the road rage in this case? Is it possible Mr. Blanco was just trying to defend himself? I am certainly not suggesting showing off a firearm is ever a good idea but there seems to be more to this story than has been revealed.

4 people like this
Posted by A concerned neighbor
a resident of Stanford
on Sep 28, 2016 at 12:15 pm

It sounds like Nordstrom also owes a parking citation to this upstanding member of our Stanford community.

4 people like this
Posted by Not surprised
a resident of Stanford
on Sep 28, 2016 at 12:45 pm

A concerned neighbor: Sounds like you should do some research. Nordstrom does not own that parking lot. It belongs to Stanford Shopping Mall owners which probably also allows employees at Stanford Health Care to use it as well.

4 people like this
Posted by Lightning Man
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 28, 2016 at 1:30 pm

Lightning Man is a registered user.

I don't think Stanford Medical Center employees are allowed to use the Stanford shopping mall parking lot. If so the shopping center parking would be totally full of hospital and outpatient staff parking.

6 people like this
Posted by W. Earp
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 28, 2016 at 3:24 pm

20,000 total federal and state gun laws and he gets charged with only two violations. What about carrying a concealed weapon without a carry license? What about not transporting it in a locked container in the trunk or by the hatchback? What about carrying a loaded weapon (the loaded magazine doesn't have to be inserted in the magazine well)? What about having a loaded weapon within 1000 feet of a school (Castilleja)? If there were this many laws against the 1st Amendment I'm sure I wouldn't be able to write this complaint because the pen is mightier than the sword.

10 people like this
Posted by jane
a resident of Professorville
on Sep 28, 2016 at 4:16 pm

We used to be a town that took pride in kindness. Is there something in the water?
Aggressive behavior has increased dramatically over the past 2 years or so.
People go so fast down guinda it creates a fierce shake in the cars parked on the street.
Grocery shoppers are also more aggressive in line, down the aisle.
people also seem aggressive or else oblivious crossing the street... not looking, or
stepping out in front of you from nowhere, and never an "oh, i'm sorry" or "excuse me" but a dirty
look or scowl. Definitely not a sign of happy people.

1 person likes this
Posted by A concerned neighbor
a resident of Stanford
on Sep 28, 2016 at 9:11 pm

Hey not surprised, I think you are the one who needs to do some research Mr. Smartypants. As a Stanford Hospital employee, I can assure you that we are NOT allowed to park at the Stanford mall, and will receive parking citations if we are caught.

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

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