Palo Alto police have arrested a Redwood City resident who they say groped a department store worker, punched a security guard, threw a plate of food at a restaurant employee, spat at a paramedic and head-butted a nurse in a crime spree at Stanford Shopping Center on Monday evening.
The spree allegedly began shortly after 7 p.m., when the 41-year-old man allegedly groped the buttocks of a Macy's employee, a woman in her 30s. When a loss-prevention officer asked him to leave, the man punched him in the jaw, cutting his tongue, and fled from the store, police said in a news release.
As officers responded to Macy's, the police dispatch center received a call from P.F. Chang's China Bistro, a restaurant next to Macy’s. Police said the man entered the restaurant, went to the prep-area kitchen and claimed he had a gun. The man then allegedly began taking food from the counter and, at one point, threw a plate of food at a male employee, police said. The 41-year-old also allegedly threatened to kill the man and another employee, claimed he had a gun, and "held his fist up menacingly in the face of a third employee," a woman in her 20s.
The man fled the scene south just before officers arrived, but he didn't get very far, according to the news release. An officer located the man in possession of the stolen food at the transit depot at 95 University Ave. and detained him without incident. He was not in possession of a gun; police believe he may have simply lied about being armed, police said.
As officers transported the man for arrest, the man claimed he could no longer feel his feet because of a medical condition, police said. This prompted officers to summon Palo Alto Fire Department paramedics to assess his health. When they arrived, the man allegedly spat in the face of the paramedic, a man in his 30s, who was trying to evaluate him.
Officers and paramedics then transported the man to a local hospital for medical clearance prior to incarceration, the news release stated. Once there, the man allegedly tried to bite a nurse, a man in his 30s, who was treating him and then immediately head-butted him. Police said the man suffered minor injuries to his nose and forehead and was treated at the hospital.
Police booked the man into Santa Clara County Main Jail on suspicion of robbery and making criminal threats, both felonies, in addition to misdemeanors of resisting arrest and assault and/or battery. The Macy's worker who was groped declined to press charges.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the Police Department's 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to [email protected] or sent via text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through the department's free mobile app, downloadable at bit.ly/PAPD-AppStore or bit.ly/PAPD-GooglePlay.
Editor's note: The Weekly's policy is to withhold the names of those arrested for most crimes until the District Attorney has determined there is sufficient evidence to file charges in the case. See our guidelines here.