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 firstname.lastname@example.org or sent via text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984.