News

After receiving vulgar phone calls and death threat, Palo Alto council member is speaking out

Menlo Park man pleads 'no contest' to charge of harassing Lydia Kou

Courtesy Getty Images.

Palo Alto City Council member Lydia Kou is accustomed to speaking her mind on local policy issues, from housing to local retail protections. But it's taken her nearly a year to decide to come forward about a painful criminal case in which she was the target of sexual harassment and a death threat.

She's doing so now, she said, because hers is a story about how violent political rhetoric is inspiring people to act in ways that have long-lasting consequences. She said she hopes there will be a message for both the perpetrators and victims of harassment.

The phone calls started on Sept. 26, 2020, while Kou was campaigning for her second term on the council. At about 12:30 p.m., during a Zoom meeting, she received five calls in rapid succession. When Kou picked up the phone, a man, later identified by police as Alexander Breya, 29, of Menlo Park, was acting belligerent and made sexual and vulgar remarks.

"I said, 'I don't have anything to talk to you about,' and hung up," Kou recalled.

Breya proceeded to leave three voicemails, according to a police investigative report. The voicemails were "very disgusting and demeaning," Kou said during a recent phone interview. "I couldn't finish listening to them. It makes me feel like rubbish, like dirt, like meat."

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She received a fourth call in which another unknown man asked for donations to a church. At the end of the message, Kou said she heard a laugh in the background. She recognized the laugh as belonging to the man who had left the previous harassing calls, she said.

For nearly two weeks, there was silence. Then, on Oct. 9 at 10:23 p.m., she received five phone calls and a voicemail message.

"I'm back. I'm going to call you until you change your number," he said. "You deserve to have your throat slit."

Kou contacted Palo Alto police. On Oct. 10, an investigator tracked the two phone numbers through a police database to two men. The first man denied any knowledge of making the phone calls, but Breya, who answered the second phone, admitted that he had made the calls, according to the police report. He agreed to meet with police the next day because he was intoxicated that night.

Breya was charged with two counts of making annoying and harassing phone calls using obscene language or threats to injure for his volatile words against Kou. On June 9, he pleaded no contest in Santa Clara County Superior Court to one count of the same charge, which is a misdemeanor. Although punishable with a jail sentence, the court ordered him to complete 10 Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, 40 hours of community service and to pay $795 in fines and fees. He must also comply with a 100-yard stay away order and not have any contact with Kou, according to court records.

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Breya told the police investigator that he had seen a Facebook ad for Kou on Sept. 26, which contained a campaign position he didn't like. He commented on Kou's Facebook post and became upset when he thought she had him blocked from further posting on her site. Kou doesn't recall blocking anyone, she said.

Intoxicated at the time, Breya located a phone number for Kou and made the calls, he told police. He said he asked his friend to leave a "funny message" — the church donations call — for Kou. Regarding the Oct. 9 phone calls, he told police he was too drunk to remember exactly what he'd said but that if he did threaten Kou, he "was just joking."

Breya told police he was sorry he made Kou feel scared and agreed to stop attempting to contact her, according to the police report.

Even though the harassment has ended, Kou said she remains deeply affected by it. At the time, she became concerned her harasser might find her because she was out in public campaigning for council at farmers' markets last fall. She stopped answering her phone and hesitated to listen to messages, she said. The harassment also affected her real estate business, which in part relies on taking calls from new or referred clients, she said.

When she goes to the grocery store, Kou said, sometimes she still reacts out of fear, looking to make sure no one is stalking her.

"For people making these calls, it's fun for them or they hope to intimidate," she said. But "it has a lasting effect on the person they are doing it to."

Kou is critical of what she considers the lenient sentence meted out for the harassment and death threat and the fact that Breya never apologized to her directly.

Breya was not present in the courtroom nor by video for his hearings. He didn't hear her victim-impact statement when the prosecutor read it into the court record.

"He didn't have enough courage to face me," she said.

'For people making these calls, it's fun for them or they hope to intimidate. It has a lasting effect on the person they are doing it to.'

-Lydia Kou, City Council member, Palo Alto

According to Deputy District Attorney Leung Sheryl Leung, the case's prosecutor, many misdemeanors don't require the defendant to be present as long as the person's attorney is in court.

Leung also said these kinds of stranger-harassment cases typically don't receive jail time — particularly if the defendant doesn't have a criminal record. His conduct, while inexcusable, didn't rise to the level of "criminal threats," she said. To meet that standard, the victim must be in immediate fear of their lives. According to the police report, Kou said she was not in immediate fear since she was at home at the time and wasn't leaving her residence.

San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe, however, said that his office would press for jail time in most misdemeanor harassment cases, particularly if threats are involved. Some judges don't choose to give a misdemeanor defendant a jail sentence but rather mete out community service, but it is up to the judge's discretion, he said.

Shelley Dwyer, Breya's attorney, said on Aug. 11 that she couldn't comment on the case, citing attorney-client privilege.

In an email to this news organization, Breya said he was sorry for his actions.

"First of all, I've felt awful about this from the moment I found out what I said to her. I know alcohol is not an excuse. I've been trying to make this mistake right for the last 10 months," he said.

"When the police contacted me I immediately and fully cooperated. I took full responsibility for my actions and recorded a statement with a full apology to Ms. Kou. I offered to apologize to her directly and was told by the police that I should not do this. I have respected that advice. But to be clear, I am very sorry and embarrassed about what I did. It was an awful voicemail, but I certainly never intended to hurt her or cause her any kind of distraught."

He said he attended AA meetings, performed his community service, and paid the court-imposed fines, all of which were completed in July.

Asked about Breya's claim of a recorded apology, Palo Alto police acting Lt. Brian Philip said the department doesn't comment on investigative material. The police report filed in the court notes the apology was part of the recording made of the police interview with Breya, and it was recorded on the officer's body-worn camera. There is no indication that a separate recording of an apology was made specifically to Kou.

Kou said she didn't receive anything from the police nor did the officers tell her that Breya had apologized.

'I've been trying to make this mistake right for the last 10 months.'

-Alexander Breya, resident, Menlo Park

Breya said his actions have had real consequences, including the inability to seek full-time work while he performed his community service. He is now concerned that news about this case will make it difficult or impossible for him to find work. He asked through this news organization for Kou to give him a chance to get his life back in order.

Listening to Breya's statement being read to her over the phone this week, Kou began to cry. She said that while she understands Breya's predicament, his actions have made a long-lasting impact.

Her intention in coming forward is to make it clear to anyone thinking about pranking or harassing another person that doing so has consequences for both the victim and the perpetrator. She hopes to prevent future incidents, she said.

She also wants other victims to know they aren't alone. As a community leader, she hopes she can inspire victims to take action and be empowered, she said.

"I don't think anybody can understand the level of threat each person feels. For women going through this, it's important to talk about it. It is healing."

The Palo Alto Police Department encourages harassment victims to document anything they can, Palo Alto police Acting Captain James Reifschneider said: Make screenshots of emails; save voicemail messages. Although in California, one party can't record a conversation without the agreement and knowledge of the other party, an exception is made when documenting a crime, he said.

The department doesn't receive many harassment cases, but they tend to pop up around election time, he said. Most victims just want relief from the harassment, so officers will contact the perpetrators and that usually stops the problem, he said. Just telling a harasser the communication is being documented can sometimes be enough to stop the person, he said.

Although victims might be hesitant to contact the police, Reifschneider said they should notify the department sooner rather than later.

"Don't be afraid of calling us," he said.

Help is available

Any person who is feeling troubled can call 800-784-2433 to speak with a crisis counselor. People in Santa Clara County can call 855-278-4204. Spanish speakers can call 888-628-9454.

Anyone who is struggling with substance use can call the Santa Clara County Department of Behavioral Health Services at 800-488-9919.

For a list of local Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, visit findrecovery.com.

People can reach trained counselors at Crisis Text Line by texting 741741.

Read more: How to help those in crisis

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After receiving vulgar phone calls and death threat, Palo Alto council member is speaking out

Menlo Park man pleads 'no contest' to charge of harassing Lydia Kou

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Wed, Aug 18, 2021, 9:58 am

Palo Alto City Council member Lydia Kou is accustomed to speaking her mind on local policy issues, from housing to local retail protections. But it's taken her nearly a year to decide to come forward about a painful criminal case in which she was the target of sexual harassment and a death threat.

She's doing so now, she said, because hers is a story about how violent political rhetoric is inspiring people to act in ways that have long-lasting consequences. She said she hopes there will be a message for both the perpetrators and victims of harassment.

The phone calls started on Sept. 26, 2020, while Kou was campaigning for her second term on the council. At about 12:30 p.m., during a Zoom meeting, she received five calls in rapid succession. When Kou picked up the phone, a man, later identified by police as Alexander Breya, 29, of Menlo Park, was acting belligerent and made sexual and vulgar remarks.

"I said, 'I don't have anything to talk to you about,' and hung up," Kou recalled.

Breya proceeded to leave three voicemails, according to a police investigative report. The voicemails were "very disgusting and demeaning," Kou said during a recent phone interview. "I couldn't finish listening to them. It makes me feel like rubbish, like dirt, like meat."

She received a fourth call in which another unknown man asked for donations to a church. At the end of the message, Kou said she heard a laugh in the background. She recognized the laugh as belonging to the man who had left the previous harassing calls, she said.

For nearly two weeks, there was silence. Then, on Oct. 9 at 10:23 p.m., she received five phone calls and a voicemail message.

"I'm back. I'm going to call you until you change your number," he said. "You deserve to have your throat slit."

Kou contacted Palo Alto police. On Oct. 10, an investigator tracked the two phone numbers through a police database to two men. The first man denied any knowledge of making the phone calls, but Breya, who answered the second phone, admitted that he had made the calls, according to the police report. He agreed to meet with police the next day because he was intoxicated that night.

Breya was charged with two counts of making annoying and harassing phone calls using obscene language or threats to injure for his volatile words against Kou. On June 9, he pleaded no contest in Santa Clara County Superior Court to one count of the same charge, which is a misdemeanor. Although punishable with a jail sentence, the court ordered him to complete 10 Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, 40 hours of community service and to pay $795 in fines and fees. He must also comply with a 100-yard stay away order and not have any contact with Kou, according to court records.

Breya told the police investigator that he had seen a Facebook ad for Kou on Sept. 26, which contained a campaign position he didn't like. He commented on Kou's Facebook post and became upset when he thought she had him blocked from further posting on her site. Kou doesn't recall blocking anyone, she said.

Intoxicated at the time, Breya located a phone number for Kou and made the calls, he told police. He said he asked his friend to leave a "funny message" — the church donations call — for Kou. Regarding the Oct. 9 phone calls, he told police he was too drunk to remember exactly what he'd said but that if he did threaten Kou, he "was just joking."

Breya told police he was sorry he made Kou feel scared and agreed to stop attempting to contact her, according to the police report.

Even though the harassment has ended, Kou said she remains deeply affected by it. At the time, she became concerned her harasser might find her because she was out in public campaigning for council at farmers' markets last fall. She stopped answering her phone and hesitated to listen to messages, she said. The harassment also affected her real estate business, which in part relies on taking calls from new or referred clients, she said.

When she goes to the grocery store, Kou said, sometimes she still reacts out of fear, looking to make sure no one is stalking her.

"For people making these calls, it's fun for them or they hope to intimidate," she said. But "it has a lasting effect on the person they are doing it to."

Kou is critical of what she considers the lenient sentence meted out for the harassment and death threat and the fact that Breya never apologized to her directly.

Breya was not present in the courtroom nor by video for his hearings. He didn't hear her victim-impact statement when the prosecutor read it into the court record.

"He didn't have enough courage to face me," she said.

According to Deputy District Attorney Leung Sheryl Leung, the case's prosecutor, many misdemeanors don't require the defendant to be present as long as the person's attorney is in court.

Leung also said these kinds of stranger-harassment cases typically don't receive jail time — particularly if the defendant doesn't have a criminal record. His conduct, while inexcusable, didn't rise to the level of "criminal threats," she said. To meet that standard, the victim must be in immediate fear of their lives. According to the police report, Kou said she was not in immediate fear since she was at home at the time and wasn't leaving her residence.

San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe, however, said that his office would press for jail time in most misdemeanor harassment cases, particularly if threats are involved. Some judges don't choose to give a misdemeanor defendant a jail sentence but rather mete out community service, but it is up to the judge's discretion, he said.

Shelley Dwyer, Breya's attorney, said on Aug. 11 that she couldn't comment on the case, citing attorney-client privilege.

In an email to this news organization, Breya said he was sorry for his actions.

"First of all, I've felt awful about this from the moment I found out what I said to her. I know alcohol is not an excuse. I've been trying to make this mistake right for the last 10 months," he said.

"When the police contacted me I immediately and fully cooperated. I took full responsibility for my actions and recorded a statement with a full apology to Ms. Kou. I offered to apologize to her directly and was told by the police that I should not do this. I have respected that advice. But to be clear, I am very sorry and embarrassed about what I did. It was an awful voicemail, but I certainly never intended to hurt her or cause her any kind of distraught."

He said he attended AA meetings, performed his community service, and paid the court-imposed fines, all of which were completed in July.

Asked about Breya's claim of a recorded apology, Palo Alto police acting Lt. Brian Philip said the department doesn't comment on investigative material. The police report filed in the court notes the apology was part of the recording made of the police interview with Breya, and it was recorded on the officer's body-worn camera. There is no indication that a separate recording of an apology was made specifically to Kou.

Kou said she didn't receive anything from the police nor did the officers tell her that Breya had apologized.

Breya said his actions have had real consequences, including the inability to seek full-time work while he performed his community service. He is now concerned that news about this case will make it difficult or impossible for him to find work. He asked through this news organization for Kou to give him a chance to get his life back in order.

Listening to Breya's statement being read to her over the phone this week, Kou began to cry. She said that while she understands Breya's predicament, his actions have made a long-lasting impact.

Her intention in coming forward is to make it clear to anyone thinking about pranking or harassing another person that doing so has consequences for both the victim and the perpetrator. She hopes to prevent future incidents, she said.

She also wants other victims to know they aren't alone. As a community leader, she hopes she can inspire victims to take action and be empowered, she said.

"I don't think anybody can understand the level of threat each person feels. For women going through this, it's important to talk about it. It is healing."

The Palo Alto Police Department encourages harassment victims to document anything they can, Palo Alto police Acting Captain James Reifschneider said: Make screenshots of emails; save voicemail messages. Although in California, one party can't record a conversation without the agreement and knowledge of the other party, an exception is made when documenting a crime, he said.

The department doesn't receive many harassment cases, but they tend to pop up around election time, he said. Most victims just want relief from the harassment, so officers will contact the perpetrators and that usually stops the problem, he said. Just telling a harasser the communication is being documented can sometimes be enough to stop the person, he said.

Although victims might be hesitant to contact the police, Reifschneider said they should notify the department sooner rather than later.

"Don't be afraid of calling us," he said.

Help is available

Any person who is feeling troubled can call 800-784-2433 to speak with a crisis counselor. People in Santa Clara County can call 855-278-4204. Spanish speakers can call 888-628-9454.

Anyone who is struggling with substance use can call the Santa Clara County Department of Behavioral Health Services at 800-488-9919.

For a list of local Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, visit findrecovery.com.

People can reach trained counselors at Crisis Text Line by texting 741741.

Read more: How to help those in crisis

Comments

Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Aug 18, 2021 at 10:49 am
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Aug 18, 2021 at 10:49 am

A $795 fine and no required anger management courses? What a ridiculously lenient slap on the wrist. Why a misdemeanor charge when it's a felony to threaten public officials.

Poor baby that he couldn't work while doing community service!

What nonsensical and evasive comments from the DA's office and the PA police. Even when one documents the threats, the criminals only get a slap on the wrist. I know people who've had more police visits, legal fees and required months of anger management for slapping the trunks of cars who've cut them off than Breya got for REPEATEDLY threatening an Asian female public official!

Must be nice for Breya to have such well-connected parents. Shame on our "leaders" who seem to be clueless about the increased crimes against Asians!


Anneke
Registered user
Professorville
on Aug 18, 2021 at 11:02 am
Anneke, Professorville
Registered user
on Aug 18, 2021 at 11:02 am

Dear Lydia,

Please stay strong. You are a hero in my book, and you are an example of courage for many.

May I suggest that you have a private, honest, meeting with Mr. Breya in which you can tell him directly about the personal feelings of threat and harassment his calls caused you, and in which he can ask you for forgiveness. I am sad, but not surprised, that the police recommended to Mr. Brea that he not apologize to you.

A number of years ago my husband, while cycling on Bryant Street downtown, hit the large door of a very large personal SUV suddenly opened wide by a Palo Alto fireman. The police held the fireman responsible for this accident My husband, spent half a day at Stanford, but of more serious consequence, he lost his confidence in biking. The fireman never apologized for his mistake, which could have done so much in rebuilding my husband's confidence.

Asking for forgiveness is not easy, but it is a beautiful characteristic in a good human being.


H. Pierce
Registered user
Barron Park
on Aug 18, 2021 at 11:02 am
H. Pierce, Barron Park
Registered user
on Aug 18, 2021 at 11:02 am

Times have changed since 9/11 along with countless PC considerations and modern day definitions of sexual harassment.

High school bomb scares, phone pranks, and unwarranted sexual commentaries are no longer acceptable.

Some people do peculiar things when under the influence of alcohol or fully intoxicated.


Claude Ezran
Registered user
Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Aug 18, 2021 at 11:15 am
Claude Ezran, Leland Manor/Garland Drive
Registered user
on Aug 18, 2021 at 11:15 am

Dear Lydia,

I am deeply sorry that you had to go through this absolutely awful experience. Thank you for your courage and leadership in speaking up. And thank you for your service to Palo Alto and the community.


dontliveinCA
Registered user
another community
on Aug 18, 2021 at 11:33 am
dontliveinCA, another community
Registered user
on Aug 18, 2021 at 11:33 am

Someone above mentioned Breya's parents as being "well connected." Please explain; thanks.


Consider Your Options.
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 18, 2021 at 11:36 am
Consider Your Options. , Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Aug 18, 2021 at 11:36 am

Dear Lydia, I'm sorry you went through this. I'm glad you reported this to the police and glad they caught him.

I wish you healing and peace.


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Aug 18, 2021 at 11:43 am
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Aug 18, 2021 at 11:43 am
Jennifer
Registered user
another community
on Aug 18, 2021 at 11:46 am
Jennifer, another community
Registered user
on Aug 18, 2021 at 11:46 am

How awful. I'm sorry this happened. I hope he really is remorseful. I understand why the police would advise him not to apologize. No further contact. She's suffered enough. You can forgive someone without a personal apology. Forgiveness frees you, and it's something we should all be practicing daily. Stay strong Lydia.


Green Gables
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 18, 2021 at 12:10 pm
Green Gables, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on Aug 18, 2021 at 12:10 pm

I'm so sorry that you had to endure all that frightening garbage, Lydia.


AllenPod
Registered user
Community Center
on Aug 18, 2021 at 12:10 pm
AllenPod , Community Center
Registered user
on Aug 18, 2021 at 12:10 pm

Lydia is a decent person. She listens, even to people with whom she disagrees sometimes, like myself. To know her is to know that she is fair, understanding and strong. She was attacked because she had the courage of her convictions, and spoke out.
You can attack her position on politics, but not her humanity.
The great majority of us stand by your side, Lydia.


Deidre LaPorte
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Aug 18, 2021 at 12:13 pm
Deidre LaPorte, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Aug 18, 2021 at 12:13 pm

Were these calls received on a cellphone or landline?

Public officials should never disclose their personal & private phone lines.


Avery Shein
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 18, 2021 at 12:32 pm
Avery Shein, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on Aug 18, 2021 at 12:32 pm

Being a Jew, I've learned never to take things personally.

You'll live longer.


No heat
Registered user
Fairmeadow
on Aug 18, 2021 at 2:49 pm
No heat, Fairmeadow
Registered user
on Aug 18, 2021 at 2:49 pm

Deidre LaPorte: It's basically impossible for public officials to hide addresses and phone numbers, even with a state law limiting their disclosure. Too many people have a legitimate need to know, and secrets don't stay secret once more than a handful of people know.


Ismail Muhammad
Registered user
Midtown
on Aug 18, 2021 at 5:25 pm
Ismail Muhammad , Midtown
Registered user
on Aug 18, 2021 at 5:25 pm

I do not know Lydia Kou personally, in fact I don’t even know what her political leanings are and what policies she suggests…

But for anyone to receive a death threat they must have said something/advocating for something that really “grinds people’s gears”.

Someone mentioned this Mr Breya’s has well connected parents. Care to explain? He probably is a working professional… I sure wouldn’t want a guy who wants to slit a woman’s throat just because they may disagree on some issues to be a coworker of mine.


vmshadle
Registered user
Meadow Park
on Aug 18, 2021 at 5:50 pm
vmshadle, Meadow Park
Registered user
on Aug 18, 2021 at 5:50 pm

Ismael Muhammad's comment above, "But for anyone to receive a death threat they must have said something/advocating for something that really 'grinds people’s gears,'" sounds like making excuses for inexcusable behavior.

We all have the right to disagree (even quite strenuously) with public officials, but the responsibility for vile phone calls and death threats is entirely Mr. Breya's and remains with Mr. Breya.

Sane people do not throw knives at firefighters pulling hoses toward their burning houses.

Threatening someone's bodily autonomy and physical safety leaves psychological scars, period.

People who cannot distinguish between persons and the jobs they do need to attend to their own mental states and correct their public behavior.

I am so sorry Ms. Kou and her family are forced to deal with these appalling assaults.


Anonymous
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 18, 2021 at 8:00 pm
Anonymous, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on Aug 18, 2021 at 8:00 pm

Ms. Kou is a fine person and fine public official. I want her to continue in her business and in public service. Thank you!
Her harrasser should have a more severe penalty.
Alcohol is NO EXCUSE.


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Aug 18, 2021 at 8:35 pm
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Aug 18, 2021 at 8:35 pm

I agree with the last 2 posters and find Ismael Muhammad's comment, "But for anyone to receive a death threat they must have said something/advocating for something that really 'grinds people’s gears,'" incredibly offensive.

Stop blaming the victim! Blame the criminal whose damage will last long after his record has been expunged now that he's completed his alcoholism counseling.

Stop defending those perpetuating violence. Look at the video gamers and anti-vaxers threatening those "grinding people's gears"! Take video gamers for example. There are literally thousands of news articles documenting their misogyny and their threats to kill and/or rape female gamers. The anti-vaxers forced Dr. Fauci to seek protection for himself and his family and they're gleefully attacking teachers and patients trying to get to their doctors because the hospitals support masking!

Lydia is a sweet person and a dedicated public official who didn't deserve this type of abuse. She deserved better from our legal system.


Annette
Registered user
College Terrace
on Aug 18, 2021 at 9:17 pm
Annette, College Terrace
Registered user
on Aug 18, 2021 at 9:17 pm

"He asked through this news organization for Kou to give him a chance to get his life back in order."

Seriously? What gall. If Mr. Breya is having difficulty finding a job and getting his life in order I seriously doubt it is b/c of any interference from Ms. Kou.


Leanne Simonis
Registered user
Greenmeadow
on Aug 18, 2021 at 9:32 pm
Leanne Simonis, Greenmeadow
Registered user
on Aug 18, 2021 at 9:32 pm
Not Good Enough
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 18, 2021 at 10:03 pm
Not Good Enough, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Aug 18, 2021 at 10:03 pm

What the law has no capacity to address here is that this was a sitting Councilmember running as an incumbent candidate for office. As a candidate, due to a political position Kou took, Breya harassed her and threatened her life. This is wrong.

At age 29, he seems to have an alcohol problem given he claims he can’t remember what he even said to Kou. That he was sentenced to a mere 10 AA meetings is a toe in the ocean. His worries about employment should center more on sobriety and making amends than on wiggling out of the repercussions of this light sentence.

The sentence surely isn’t enough reassure other women politicians they won’t go through this, be they Asian or other races.

Also, that Breya never heard Kou’s statement, and the police kept his apology from her, is beyond belief. This is not justice, it is comprehension deprivation.

What Breya did was try to frustrate the most basic process of democracy – running for political office so we the voters may choose. That this was not even recognized by the law damages us all, and what he did to Lydia Kou was abominable.


Bystander
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 18, 2021 at 10:11 pm
Bystander, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Aug 18, 2021 at 10:11 pm

I don't care about her politics, or her race, but the fact that an elected official during an election campaign should receive these types of threats including one on her life is a dreadful situation.

I believe in thanking anyone who is willing to take public office. It is something that most of us will never consider doing and regardless of whether we agree with their position, they still deserve respect for their willingness and thanks for their time and effort.


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Aug 18, 2021 at 10:24 pm
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Aug 18, 2021 at 10:24 pm

"Maybe the PAPD could provide protective bodyguard services for council members who are threatened or harassed by PA residents along with chaffeuring them between their homes and council chambers."

The perp wasn't a PA resident; he was from Menlo Park. "a man, later identified by police as Alexander Breya, 29, of Menlo Park.." remarks." Maybe the PAPD and the MPPD could follow Mr. Breya to ensure he stays sober to ensure his AA counseling worked.

Maybe the quoted representatives from the DA's offices in Santa Clara County and San Mateo County could start treating death and rape threats seriously. Remember Mr. Wagstaffe's excuse for the lenient treatment of the stalker who'd REPEATEDLY harassed the prison guard to the point that she had to change jobs because he kept getting arrested to be with her, his one "true love"?

We would have been tougher if only he'd threatened MORE women since threatening ONE woman repeatedly wasn't enough for a serious sentence. Doesn't that make victims feel safe and discourage other stalkers!


ALB
Registered user
College Terrace
on Aug 18, 2021 at 10:49 pm
ALB, College Terrace
Registered user
on Aug 18, 2021 at 10:49 pm

The twenty nine year old Breya needs to see a psychiatrist to help him with this character flaw. He is an angry man. What in the world would trigger such animus? I find it difficult to grasp that he was 'just' inebriated. No. The alcohol may lessen some inhibitions but bad behavior is inexcusable. This is who he is. Does he chafe at seeing a woman who is in a position of power? Is it really her values or is it her ethnicity that was the trigger? What did Breya see on Facebook that set him off? He is a white man who from what we know has not endured much hardship. He has received a light sentence. AA is cosmetic. He could be a textbook narcissist who refuses to engage in self examination. If he does not take a cold fish eye look at his actions and the effect it has had then his reputation will suffer even more than it is right now.


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