News Digest | August 5, 2022 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - August 5, 2022

News Digest

Police arrest burglar at occupied home

The Palo Alto Police Department arrested a man for allegedly entering an unlocked home and rummaging through the residents’ belongings while the house was occupied on Monday afternoon, Aug.1.

Around 3:40 p.m., police received a call from the resident of a house in the 1100 block of Ramona Street reporting an in-progress burglary, according to a police department press release. The resident, a man in his seventies, told the authorities that he had found a stranger sorting through his belongings in the living room. The resident yelled at the stranger to get out of his house, which caused the suspect to run out of the house without taking anything.

About a minute later, officers found and detained the suspect. No one was injured.

The following investigation found that the suspect, a 35-year-old San Jose resident, had allegedly entered the house through the unlocked front door. The police booked him into the Santa Clara County Main Jail for residential burglary, according to the press release, along with an outstanding misdemeanor warrant for resisting arrest out of Santa Cruz County.

Around 7:47 a.m. on that same Monday morning, the police contacted the same suspect after receiving a call that he was allegedly trespassing by sleeping in the backyard of a home in the 300 block of Kingsley Avenue. The police cited and released him for an outstanding misdemeanor warrant for vandalism, theft, trespass and resisting arrest out of Sunnyvale.

Anyone with information about these incidents is encouraged to contact the Palo Alto Police Department’s 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413.

— Bay City News Service Rail analysis brings anxiety to Palo Alto

As the California agency charged with building high-speed rail finalizes its plans for the Peninsula segment of its contentious system, Palo Alto officials are raising alarms about a feature conspicuously missing from the proposed design: grade separation.

The Palo Alto council is now finalizing its plans for grade separation -- the realignment of rail crossings so that tracks would not intersect with local streets at three crossings. This week, the council agreed to place on the November ballot a business tax that would help fund grade separation, expected to cost hundreds of millions of dollars and take more than a decade to complete.

The high-speed rail project could conflict with these plans. In June the state rail authority released its final Environmental Impact Report for the segment between San Francisco and San Jose, set to be reviewed and approved on Aug. 17 and 18. The recently released environmental analysis evaluates two alternatives, both of which generally stick to the two-track "blended system" design in which high-speed rail and Caltrain share tracks.

The analysis concluded that the alternative without the passing tracks is the environmentally superior option, but Palo Alto officials are concerned the analysis does not consider an alternative in which rail crossings are grade-separated. Instead, the analysis proposes to install four-quad gates at the rail crossings to prevent cars from entering the tracks when trains are passing.

— Gennady Sheyner Novavax COVID-19 vaccine now available

Santa Clara County began offering the new Novavax COVID-19 vaccine on Aug. 2, county administrators said. The shots are available at all county health system vaccination sites.

Novavax differs from the currently available Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, which use an mRNA-based approach to developing immunity. Instead, Novavax uses traditional protein-based technology. Both types of vaccines are safe and effective at preventing serious illness and death from COVID-19, the county noted.

The Novavax COVID-19 vaccine is administered in two doses given three to eight weeks apart. The vaccine, which was recently approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, offers an alternative for the small percentage of people who are unable to receive an mRNA vaccine due to a history of allergic reactions or who might be more comfortable with a traditional type of vaccine.

The Novavax vaccine doesn't contain preservatives, latex, metals, antibiotics or tissues such as aborted fetal cells, gelatin or any materials from any animal. It also doesn't contain food proteins such as eggs or egg products, gluten, peanuts, tree nuts, nut products or any nut byproducts.

The vaccines are available to adults. The Food and Drug Administration has not approved the vaccine for use as a booster, however.

Anyone interested in receiving the Novavax vaccine is encouraged to check with their primary physician about receiving the initial vaccination series. Anyone without a primary health care provider or who is having difficulty finding an appointment can find assistance at

— Sue Dremann


Posted by Resident
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 4, 2022 at 10:24 am

Resident is a registered user.

This is a police failure. I support the police, but it has to be said they failed to protect this resident and the community. They also failed the perpetrator: by ‘choosing’ not to take him away on multiple outstanding warrants, he carried on, and the elder resident would have had sound justification to use deadly force and possibly kill the man. See castle doctrine. CA Penal Code 198.5.

PAPD should account for their conduct here:

A warrant is a command from a court to law enforcement to bring a person in. They’re issued because a judge or grand jury has been convinced by a showing of evidence that there’s probable cause that the particular person has committed a crime; or the person has defied the court and failed to appear.

Did PAPD have discretion to 'choose' not to obey the issuing court on the multiple warrants for Darko? PAPD should answer.

If PAPD had proper discretion, why did PAPD misuse this discretion: the warrants were for trespass, theft, vandalism, resisting lawful authority. What was Darko doing in Palo Alto when PAPD came into contact? Trespass, exactly what the issued warrant recites. It was entirely foreseeable that Darko would continue the same arc. And was unreasonable to expect that issuing a citation (a ticket) to appear would have him appear. He had already defied lawful authority in several ways.

The public and City Council should demand an accounting from the PAPD, and change policy to bring in anyone PAPD run across who has outstanding warrants.

Posted by peppered
a resident of Community Center
on Aug 4, 2022 at 10:31 am

peppered is a registered user.

There is just too much brazen crime out there nowadays. Unprecedented. Crazy.
This is going to lead to people arming themselves, likely with tragic consequences.
Why aren't the police doing their jobs? What is the City Council doing about it?

Posted by kimmy
a resident of University South
on Aug 4, 2022 at 1:20 pm

kimmy is a registered user.

The scary part of these crimes are that PAPD and paloaltoonline choose to not post a mug shot of these criminals. Especially when they are citied and released. Yes. Cited and let go on the spot. Help us out guys. We live here.

Posted by No Alternatives
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 4, 2022 at 1:23 pm

No Alternatives is a registered user.

" I support the police, but it has to be said they failed to protect this resident and the community."

We have security cameras, motion detector lights and a burglar alarm installed at our home.

Though my wife is discouraging the notion, given these kinds of residential break-ins, it might be time to purchase a legal firearm.

The police are good at following-up on local crimes but they rarely prevent them.

Posted by Hulkamania
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 4, 2022 at 2:30 pm

Hulkamania is a registered user.

No Alternatives sez, "Though my wife is discouraging the notion, given these kinds of residential break-ins, it might be time to purchase a legal firearm."

Don't do that. You'll either end up shooting your wife or have a criminal shoot you. Get a big dog. You'll have a friend for life and a great burglar alarm.

Posted by kimmy
a resident of University South
on Aug 4, 2022 at 3:50 pm

kimmy is a registered user.

@no alternatives. I ended up getting a mid size dog and signs all over warning people. Plus a fire arm with many hours of training. Training i hope to never have to use.

Posted by Tom Meadows
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 4, 2022 at 5:13 pm

Tom Meadows is a registered user.

@No Alternatives...
Heed the words of Hulkamania and kimmy.

Having a loaded firearm around the house poses all kinds of problems and potential tragedies.

Get a watchful and aggressive dog instead.

My suggestion: Outdoor and indoor space providing...a Presa Canario which is a Spanish Mastif.

Presa Canarios are 150 lb. dogs (male) with a 540 psi bite that only bond with the immediate family.

They are very dangerous and aggressive towards strangers but very loyal to and affectionate with their masters.

Think of a Presa Canario as a pit bull on steroids.

Also important to remember...if they maul or kill an unwelcomed intruder INDOORS, you are probably OK in terms of personal liability.

In the back yard (or accidently let out on the streets) could pose some problems.

Posted by Monte Jackson
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 5, 2022 at 8:21 am

Monte Jackson is a registered user.

When it comes to security dogs there are three types...watchdogs, guard dogs, and attack dogs.

A watchdog can be any breed that barks when alerted.

Guard dogs like Dobermans, German Shepards, and Rottweilers will protect the premises while a Presa Canario is both a guard dog and a bonafide attack dog (aka killer).

Presa Canarios were originally bred by the Romans for battle and later brought to the Canary Islands off Spain.

They are huge and very intimidating.

Posted by Carolyn Johnson
a resident of Stanford
on Aug 5, 2022 at 10:03 am

Carolyn Johnson is a registered user.

The Presa Canario breed came into public awareness when Diane Whipple was mauled to death by two PCs that got loose in the apartment hall where she resided in San Francisco.

The dog's owners were later sentenced to prison for gross negligence and manslaughter.

"Presa Canarios are 150 lb. dogs (male) with a 540 psi bite..."

"Think of a Presa Canario as a pit bull on steroids."

^ Presa Canarios can also be thought of as the assault weapons of the canine world.

They are not illegal to own and can snap human bones like a toothpick.

Pity the poor home intruder that encounters a Presa Canario as it will most likely be the last dog they ever see in their life.

That said, having one (or two) PCs around the house is probably safer than owning a firearm.

Posted by Josh Lancaster
a resident of Woodside
on Aug 5, 2022 at 4:54 pm

Josh Lancaster is a registered user.

I think a firearm properly stored is a safer bet than having violent attack dogs on the premises.

Dogs sometimes have a mind of their own while a firearm's inherent danger is based on someone actually firing it.

My grandfather always kept an empty double barreled shotgun on the wall with birdshot shells stored separately but within quick and easy access.

We reside on a gated estate with electronic and video surveillance security but if someone is determined to breach the premises, they will always manage to find a way.

Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Aug 5, 2022 at 5:04 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

7 minutes ago in the article list and 6 HOURS ago here. What's wrong??

Posted by Jennifer
a resident of another community
on Aug 6, 2022 at 3:38 pm

Jennifer is a registered user.

We don't own guns or violent attack dogs. But if a criminal has a gun, he can easily shoot the dogs. I could handle losing everything we own and a call to the insurance company easier than losing our pets in a violent manner.

Posted by Noah Michaels
a resident of Menlo Park
on Aug 7, 2022 at 9:36 am

Noah Michaels is a registered user.

"My grandfather always kept an empty double barreled shotgun on the wall with birdshot shells stored separately..."

A safer option is to use a rocksalt rather than bird or buck shot.

It stings like hell and is non-lethal.

Birdshot is comprised of smaller than BB shot diameter pellets and is designed to bring down game birds (ducks, pheasants) without mangling up the carcass.

Buckshot is for taking down deer and elk in lieu of a 30.30 rifle. Buckshot is lethal.

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