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Man allegedly threatens to shoot police after causing disturbance, vandalism

Shopping center incident took officers on chase to hotel

A man who allegedly vandalized two cars at Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto was arrested after leading police on a chase to Menlo Park on Nov. 5, 2021. Embarcadero Media file photo.

A man led Palo Alto police on a harrowing foot chase and standoff after they tried to arrest him for smashing car windows at Stanford Shopping Center on Friday. He ran across El Camino Real to a hotel balcony in Menlo Park, repeatedly threatened to shoot officers, police said Monday.

Initially reported as a disturbance, the incident rapidly escalated to involve a crisis negotiator and police taking cover, according to a press release. On Nov. 5 around 1:45 p.m., Stanford Shopping Center security personnel called police dispatchers regarding the man, who allegedly yelled at patrons, threatened passersby and spat on store windows at the mall at 180 El Camino Real.

Arriving officers found the man, who was uncooperative. He said he was waiting for a ride-share car so he could leave. Shopping center security told police they wanted to place him under a private person's arrest if he didn't leave the property for disrupting and interfering with business, police said.

The man then ran into the parking lot. Officers, who followed from a distance, assumed he was running to meet his ride-share car, according to police. Instead, the man allegedly swung a metal water bottle and shattered the rear windows of two unoccupied vehicles.

Police chased him to an outdoor area of the Stanford Park Hotel at 100 El Camino Real in Menlo Park. At one point, he placed his hand into his jacket pocket, said he had a gun, and threatened multiple times to shoot and kill the officers. He then climbed up to a second-floor balcony.

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Officers took cover and tried to de-escalate the situation. A member of the police crisis negotiation team spoke with the man in an attempt to negotiate a compliant arrest. When the man refused commands and the negotiations failed, police fired less-lethal pepperball rounds at a wall near him to see if the pepper spray would encourage compliance or move him off the balcony. The method was unsuccessful, so officers fired a less-lethal projectile weapon that struck him in the hip area.

The man then surrendered without further incident. Police found he did not have any weapons in his possession. Personnel from the Menlo Park Fire Protection District transported him to a hospital for a medical clearance prior to booking, which is standard procedure when someone is exposed to chemical agents or is struck with a less-lethal projectile, police said. The man suffered a visible injury to his hip area but was otherwise uninjured. Officers were not injured.

Police booked the 32-year-old Campbell resident into the Santa Clara County Main Jail on suspicion of felony vandalism, misdemeanor obstructing a business establishment and misdemeanor 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: Palo Alto Online'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. Read our guidelines.

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Sue Dremann is a veteran journalist who joined the Palo Alto Weekly in 2001. She is a breaking news and general assignment reporter who also covers the regional environmental, health and crime beats. Read more >>

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Man allegedly threatens to shoot police after causing disturbance, vandalism

Shopping center incident took officers on chase to hotel

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Mon, Nov 8, 2021, 5:09 pm

A man led Palo Alto police on a harrowing foot chase and standoff after they tried to arrest him for smashing car windows at Stanford Shopping Center on Friday. He ran across El Camino Real to a hotel balcony in Menlo Park, repeatedly threatened to shoot officers, police said Monday.

Initially reported as a disturbance, the incident rapidly escalated to involve a crisis negotiator and police taking cover, according to a press release. On Nov. 5 around 1:45 p.m., Stanford Shopping Center security personnel called police dispatchers regarding the man, who allegedly yelled at patrons, threatened passersby and spat on store windows at the mall at 180 El Camino Real.

Arriving officers found the man, who was uncooperative. He said he was waiting for a ride-share car so he could leave. Shopping center security told police they wanted to place him under a private person's arrest if he didn't leave the property for disrupting and interfering with business, police said.

The man then ran into the parking lot. Officers, who followed from a distance, assumed he was running to meet his ride-share car, according to police. Instead, the man allegedly swung a metal water bottle and shattered the rear windows of two unoccupied vehicles.

Police chased him to an outdoor area of the Stanford Park Hotel at 100 El Camino Real in Menlo Park. At one point, he placed his hand into his jacket pocket, said he had a gun, and threatened multiple times to shoot and kill the officers. He then climbed up to a second-floor balcony.

Officers took cover and tried to de-escalate the situation. A member of the police crisis negotiation team spoke with the man in an attempt to negotiate a compliant arrest. When the man refused commands and the negotiations failed, police fired less-lethal pepperball rounds at a wall near him to see if the pepper spray would encourage compliance or move him off the balcony. The method was unsuccessful, so officers fired a less-lethal projectile weapon that struck him in the hip area.

The man then surrendered without further incident. Police found he did not have any weapons in his possession. Personnel from the Menlo Park Fire Protection District transported him to a hospital for a medical clearance prior to booking, which is standard procedure when someone is exposed to chemical agents or is struck with a less-lethal projectile, police said. The man suffered a visible injury to his hip area but was otherwise uninjured. Officers were not injured.

Police booked the 32-year-old Campbell resident into the Santa Clara County Main Jail on suspicion of felony vandalism, misdemeanor obstructing a business establishment and misdemeanor 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: Palo Alto Online'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. Read our guidelines.

Comments

Paly02
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Nov 8, 2021 at 6:06 pm
Paly02, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Nov 8, 2021 at 6:06 pm

Thank you for not releasing his name. I see you said "police said x" at least once during the article, which is helpful. However, can you make it more readily apparent to us readers that you are using the police press release as your sole source? Perhaps saying "police said x" more often or having some kind of disclaimer in the beginning?


TimR
Registered user
Downtown North
on Nov 8, 2021 at 9:04 pm
TimR, Downtown North
Registered user
on Nov 8, 2021 at 9:04 pm

What where they going to do if they were right, and he did try to use an Uber as a getaway car? Just let him get into the car, and possibly attack the driver? That part doesn't sound like it was handled properly.


Jim Lange
Registered user
Los Altos Hills
on Nov 9, 2021 at 9:24 am
Jim Lange, Los Altos Hills
Registered user
on Nov 9, 2021 at 9:24 am

Sounds like another mental-illness case...smashing car windows while supposedly waiting for a ride and during the interim, spitting at store windows & yelling at shoppers?

The suspect was fortunate that the PAPD didn't gun him down after he threatened them with an undisclosed firearm.


Bob M.
Registered user
Greenmeadow
on Nov 9, 2021 at 11:03 am
Bob M., Greenmeadow
Registered user
on Nov 9, 2021 at 11:03 am

You do a disservice to our community by not publishing names of those arrested unless the DA decides to prosecute them. An arrest is a fact. Report it—all of it, including the identity of the arrestee. The decision to prosecute is a separate incident which you should report accordingly. Just as an arrest doesn’t prove guilt, a lack of prosecution doesn’t confirm innocence, nor does it mean that a crime didn’t occur. It may mean only that the DA chooses to expend limited time, personnel, and resources on other cases. The Weekly seems to believe that its readers can’t understand such distinctions, so it has to help them by concealing certain facts. That’s not an attractive attitude in a news organization.


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