News

Would-be carjacker nabbed after struggle leads officer to use Taser

Police: Man refused to leave driver's seat, made death threat to bystander

A man who allegedly attempted to steal a car and threatened to kill someone at Palo Alto's Town & Country Village shopping center was taken into custody early Sunday after an officer deployed a Taser on him as he resisted arrest, according to police.

On Oct. 11, a man was arrested for allegedly attempting to steal a car at Palo Alto's Town & Country Village shopping center. Embarcadero Media file photo.

Emergency dispatchers received several calls about a woman shouting for help outside of Peet's Coffee at the shopping center at 855 El Camino Real at around 6:30 a.m.

The woman had parked her BMW outside of the coffee shop with the key in the vehicle and the door unlocked, police said Wednesday in a press release. Before she entered the store, the woman noticed a man, later identified as a 53-year-old man, in the driver's seat of her car. The woman ran back to her vehicle in an attempt to remove him — at one point kicking and yelling at him, the press release stated — but the man refused to leave the car.

Another man nearby tried to help the woman, but the 53-year-old allegedly threatened to kill him, according to the press release. Other bystanders called police and within three minutes of the calls, one officer arrived while the man was still inside the woman's vehicle.

The 53-year-old allegedly refused arrest commands, swore at the officer and told the officer to back up. He then stepped out of the vehicle and moved toward the officer in an "aggressive manner," according to the news release.

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The officer discharged his Taser once, hitting the man, before he put into custody, police said. He was not injured, the statement said, but paramedics from the Palo Alto Fire Department transported him to a hospital, following the standard protocol after a Taser is deployed. The woman did not report any injuries.

During the investigation, a passerby notified officers about a possible abandoned vehicle, a 1999 Mercedes-Benz sedan, in another part of the shopping center's parking lot. The driver's door was left open and no one was around.

Searching the car, officers found a wallet with the 53-year-old's driver's license inside. Police discovered that the car was not registered to him but to someone in San Jose who could not be reached by the department. The vehicle was then towed after finding the registration fees had not been paid in 18 months.

Police are conducting a follow-up investigation to determine if the car had been stolen, the news release stated.

The 53-year-old man, who had no permanent address, was booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail on suspicion of carjacking and resisting arrest.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the department's 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to [email protected] or sent by text message or voicemail to 650-383-8984. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through the police'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.

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Would-be carjacker nabbed after struggle leads officer to use Taser

Police: Man refused to leave driver's seat, made death threat to bystander

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Tue, Oct 13, 2020, 6:05 pm

A man who allegedly attempted to steal a car and threatened to kill someone at Palo Alto's Town & Country Village shopping center was taken into custody early Sunday after an officer deployed a Taser on him as he resisted arrest, according to police.

Emergency dispatchers received several calls about a woman shouting for help outside of Peet's Coffee at the shopping center at 855 El Camino Real at around 6:30 a.m.

The woman had parked her BMW outside of the coffee shop with the key in the vehicle and the door unlocked, police said Wednesday in a press release. Before she entered the store, the woman noticed a man, later identified as a 53-year-old man, in the driver's seat of her car. The woman ran back to her vehicle in an attempt to remove him — at one point kicking and yelling at him, the press release stated — but the man refused to leave the car.

Another man nearby tried to help the woman, but the 53-year-old allegedly threatened to kill him, according to the press release. Other bystanders called police and within three minutes of the calls, one officer arrived while the man was still inside the woman's vehicle.

The 53-year-old allegedly refused arrest commands, swore at the officer and told the officer to back up. He then stepped out of the vehicle and moved toward the officer in an "aggressive manner," according to the news release.

The officer discharged his Taser once, hitting the man, before he put into custody, police said. He was not injured, the statement said, but paramedics from the Palo Alto Fire Department transported him to a hospital, following the standard protocol after a Taser is deployed. The woman did not report any injuries.

During the investigation, a passerby notified officers about a possible abandoned vehicle, a 1999 Mercedes-Benz sedan, in another part of the shopping center's parking lot. The driver's door was left open and no one was around.

Searching the car, officers found a wallet with the 53-year-old's driver's license inside. Police discovered that the car was not registered to him but to someone in San Jose who could not be reached by the department. The vehicle was then towed after finding the registration fees had not been paid in 18 months.

Police are conducting a follow-up investigation to determine if the car had been stolen, the news release stated.

The 53-year-old man, who had no permanent address, was booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail on suspicion of carjacking and resisting arrest.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the department's 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to [email protected] or sent by text message or voicemail to 650-383-8984. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through the police'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.

Comments

Mid Town Dad
Registered user
South of Midtown
on Oct 13, 2020 at 7:15 pm
Mid Town Dad, South of Midtown
Registered user
on Oct 13, 2020 at 7:15 pm
3 people like this

Thank goodness the fellow wasn’t shot. Was the taser even necessary?


Nobody’s Dad
Registered user
Atherton
on Oct 14, 2020 at 12:16 am
Nobody’s Dad, Atherton
Registered user
on Oct 14, 2020 at 12:16 am
38 people like this

“The 53-year-old allegedly refused arrest commands, swore at the officer and told the officer to back up. He then stepped out of the vehicle and moved toward the officer in an "aggressive manner," according to the news release.”

I guess this is now considered peaceful protest, so I guess the Taser wasn’t necessary.

Not sure why anyone would want to be a police officer in Palo Alto.


Resident
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 14, 2020 at 9:14 am
Resident, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Oct 14, 2020 at 9:14 am
34 people like this

Thank you PAPD for catching carjackers.


dontliveinCA
Registered user
another community
on Oct 14, 2020 at 10:48 am
dontliveinCA, another community
Registered user
on Oct 14, 2020 at 10:48 am
51 people like this

Sure seems to me that the taser was justified.


pearl
Registered user
another community
on Oct 14, 2020 at 11:23 am
pearl, another community
Registered user
on Oct 14, 2020 at 11:23 am
39 people like this

"The 53-year-old allegedly refused arrest commands, swore at the officer and told the officer to back up. He then stepped out of the vehicle and moved toward the officer in an "aggressive manner," according to the news release."

Yes, taser necessary!


rsmithjr
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 14, 2020 at 11:25 am
rsmithjr, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on Oct 14, 2020 at 11:25 am
19 people like this

Using a Taser is a significantly less dangerous solution than using a gun!

We need to focus on having safe ways of disarming people.


Bob


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 14, 2020 at 11:33 am
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Oct 14, 2020 at 11:33 am
25 people like this

YEAH - glad that the police were there to prevent a crime-in-process. Book-him Dano.


Joey
Registered user
Barron Park
on Oct 14, 2020 at 12:51 pm
Joey, Barron Park
Registered user
on Oct 14, 2020 at 12:51 pm
20 people like this

Thank you, PAPD! We absolutely appreciate you! Job well done.


Anonymous
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 14, 2020 at 2:29 pm
Anonymous, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on Oct 14, 2020 at 2:29 pm
9 people like this

Clearcut criminal in this carjacking - so of course police must use force to stop and arrest him. Aside from the crime of stealing the vehicle, what if he sped off and hit or killed others? Public safety takes priority. The lady should have yelled and called 911 but not personally struggled with this criminal. He could be high or drunk.


Dick D.
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Oct 14, 2020 at 3:37 pm
Dick D., Crescent Park
Registered user
on Oct 14, 2020 at 3:37 pm
21 people like this

I agree 100% with those supporting PAPD's use of the taser – isn't that what the tasers are supposed to do for, to avoid the use of force at levels that has led to some awful reactions to excessive use of force and/or shooting and in some cases killing people. "Stun-guns" put a hold on action that could otherwise lead to horrible results for both police and suspects.


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