Town Square

Post a New Topic

Otto Koloto arrested for Palo Alto 'City Hall murder'

Original post made on Oct 3, 2008

Otto Emil Koloto, wanted for the July 13 murder of 27-year-old Phil Lacy just outside the parking garage of Palo Alto City Hall, was arrested in south San Jose late Thursday night. Koloto, 22, of Gilroy, was arrested about 10 p.m. without incident at the home of a "friend of a friend," where he had been staying for several days, according to reports.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, October 3, 2008, 6:56 AM

Comments (36)

Posted by anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 3, 2008 at 8:55 am

Someone must have been harboring this guy all this time!

Posted by Mark
a resident of Stanford
on Oct 3, 2008 at 9:44 am

Somebody pin a gold star on "Anonymous."

Great job by the cops for not letting this case go! Hopefully this starts to bring a little closure for the family of the poor man who died.

Posted by Ruth Anne
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 3, 2008 at 10:46 am

This is the best news I've heard all year!!!!

Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 3, 2008 at 10:49 am

Well done. Good work PAPD.

Posted by Amazed
a resident of Duveneck School
on Oct 3, 2008 at 11:02 am

Doggone awesome, PAPD!

Posted by Mayfield Child
a resident of Green Acres
on Oct 3, 2008 at 11:34 am

San Francisco Homocide Department never did solve the murder case of my husband...not enough detectives to solve the murders there.

Guess that's a plus living in "small town" Palo Alto where they have the man power to go after cases such as this..........

I am not one who rushes to judgement, but seems like they have the right person here.....One heavy duty criminal off the street now..thankfully..

Posted by Brett
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 3, 2008 at 11:51 am

And now I want everyone who criticized the PAPD on this post for giving up on the case, or not caring, or not having their priorities straight, to come forward and offer their congratulations.

Posted by lies
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 3, 2008 at 12:37 pm

what about false charges and arrests by papd of not white people just cause they talked back to white assaulters??

Posted by k
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 3, 2008 at 12:45 pm

Good Job PAPD:) !!

Posted by Friend of Phils
a resident of another community
on Oct 3, 2008 at 1:35 pm

My friend can now rest in peace. We love you Phil & miss you every day! GREAT JOB Palo Alto PD

Posted by fireman
a resident of another community
on Oct 3, 2008 at 4:14 pm

Please folks, He gave himself up. Lets not get carried away. Yes it is very good news.

Posted by anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 3, 2008 at 4:33 pm

Mark, you miss my point, we know someone must have been harboring this guy, but what about the police following up on that aspect?

Posted by Mark
a resident of Stanford
on Oct 3, 2008 at 4:39 pm

My sincere apologies, "Anonymous," I did indeed miss your point. Thanks for clarifying, and you're absolutely right. Hopefully those who hid him can be held responsible too.

Posted by someone who cares
a resident of Stanford
on Oct 4, 2008 at 2:49 am

My heart goes out to the people who were blessed with Lacey's days here on earth. Congrats to P.A.P.D on not letting up. What a waist of Phil's life that he had to lose it like this and to someone like this. Hopefully, now Phil's family can get some kind of closure now...My deepest regards to Phil Lacey's family and friends out there.

Someone who cares

Posted by intel watch
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 4, 2008 at 11:05 am

why are there cops at farmers market? homeland security paranoia? NO COPS AT FARMERS MARKET!!

Posted by Common Sense
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 4, 2008 at 11:49 am

Fireman: Where did you read the suspect "gave himself up?" As it says, the suspect was apprehended after a being on the run for a long time. The cops found him and he surrendered when they had him surrounded. That’s not giving up in my book, that’s surrendering because the cops finally tracked him down and arrested him. We all know you can't stand the Fire Department or the Police Department, but try to not let your opinions get in the way of reality.

Intel Watch: I think there are cops walking around the farmers market because cops patrol all the areas in town including downtown. They aren't there to collect intelligence on you, and they aren't there because of "homeland security paranoia." If they thought there was some threat to the crowd, I assume they would have more robust security features in place than a few officers walking around. You may also want to read the other citizens posts that ask for cops to get out of their cars and engage the community. Farmers markets are community events so this would be a good opportunity for them to do so.

P.S. The cops are the good guys, in case you forgot.

Posted by Les
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 4, 2008 at 2:25 pm

Dear Intel Watch,

I was curious as to why officers began appearing at the farmer's market as well. Know what I did? I went up and asked one. What a concept huh? Bottom line they've been encouraged to be involved more with the community, get to know people, answer questions, etc. Just like they do when they walk downtown, work the art & wine festival, as well as other community events. Many people, especially on this post, have been critical of the police department of not doing enough of this type of outreach. So when they do, someone has to fire off some paranoid criticism. Just another illustration of how tough their job can be.

By the way, the next time you're shopping at the farmer's market, try to buy some social skills and a little common sense.

Posted by Andy
a resident of Los Altos
on Oct 4, 2008 at 9:21 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by love u phil
a resident of another community
on Oct 5, 2008 at 12:31 pm

this posting is about my friend not the damn farmers market!!! thanks to those who send out there sympathy and stay on topic. . .thanks a lo PAPD your effort means the world to me. never forgotten phil i will alwyas love you

Posted by s
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 5, 2008 at 1:27 pm

seems the police dept.s social skills consist of asking minorities where the drugs are! or insulting their grandmothers

Posted by Balney
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 5, 2008 at 5:40 pm

Yeah Fairmeadow resident, that's all the police do. Spare us the biased opinion and get out more.

Posted by DONT EVEN TRIP!!
a resident of another community
on Oct 6, 2008 at 1:54 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by Friend of Phil's
a resident of another community
on Oct 6, 2008 at 2:23 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by DONT EVEN TRIP!!
a resident of another community
on Oct 6, 2008 at 2:55 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by andrew jentzsch, Fireman
a resident of another community
on Oct 6, 2008 at 3:01 pm

Wait and see if someone collects the reward.. Someone turned him in. Is what I heard. Some think it is a plan to collect the reward. If he would not have been in the city. Fled like most do. Do you really think Palo Alto PD would arrest him. Common sense says no, Palo Alto Police can not chase people around the world. Like most he would be caught on the run, far away from Palo Alto. Lets remember the CAMERA caught him. Would that of happened if he did not do this terrible crime on the steps of city hall. 50 feet more and he would have been standing in the police station.

Look at all the other crime, not so good, how is the lady that got knocked down?
Look at the children,s theatre
How many brownie point do you have to make up for Albert Hopkins?

Common sense. Did the story say he was arrested outside a Palo Alto Parking garage. Strange? Set up, call in.

I will be impressed when they catch a REAL bad guy. Like a smart one. Oh have not caught may of those have ya. To much work investigating city employes? That have not done anything . Well nothing that cost as much as the city leaders have done.
Hey if a Police officer gets killed do they lower the flags.
That is another palo alto story. Takes a really smart person to lower a flag?
Takes common sense. Oh before you adopt a name. Have some.

Hey do Starkey and Hutch work for papd. did they get the bust.

perspective, this is a young person who made a terrible mistake. No plan, no resources. Not some world terrorist or a person who is a skilled criminal. But hey YOU need something to beat your drum with. And you will make it up or blow it way out of scale.
That is what people like you do. Your standards on public safety are real low and out of balance,
Pd gets a young criminal and wow best in the business. Missed all the other stuff going on with the pd and in the police department. You are the horse and the water story.
Have a nice day.

And yes Koloto still gets to tell his story. Or do you all know it before you have even heard it. Hey you live in Palo Alto you know everything.

Terrible story for all,.All both people involved,their families, friends, you, me. Not one good thing about it. And catching this person is no GREAT JOB OF POLICE WORK. It is what they get paid to do. Hey not lose buckets of blood and then have the victims husband charged with murder. You lose lots of brownie points for that one. Was that GREAT POLICE WORK ALSO?

To bad in Palo Alto , you can not even figure out if justice gets served. When justice has no voice and can be bought$$$$ you get, what goes on in Palo Alto.

Common sense? rethink that name for yourself. Blind bigot maybe? Heartless know it all? Double standard for the rich and powerful. look down that road

Posted by Friend of Phil's
a resident of another community
on Oct 6, 2008 at 4:26 pm

Response to Don't Even Trip:
I am speaking on the facts! Your boy Koloto couldn’t afford a piece of jewelry that Phil had so what did Koloto do? He took it! Not only did he take the necklace, he killed Phil for it. As far as looking down on people? You have not idea who I am or what I feel! I do know that Koloto is a coward, a murderer and I hope he feels pain everyday of his life for what he had done. I hope you learn from your friend that is a murdered. I do hope you live a better life and I am happy for you if you truly feel that you are doing something with your life. As far as coming to your neck of the woods… It doesn’t matter where you are from. It does not justify killing someone. RIP PHIL and you can now watch from above and see JUSTICE.

Posted by CoolHead
a resident of South of Midtown
on Oct 6, 2008 at 10:38 pm

Finally, a feel good story.

Posted by SpaceJam
a resident of Esther Clark Park
on Oct 6, 2008 at 10:39 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by KrazyKat
a resident of Greater Miranda
on Oct 6, 2008 at 10:42 pm

Thank God the police finally caught this moke. The death sentence is waytoo easy on him.....let him stew at San Quentin for the next 50 years. Now that's justice!

Posted by phils fav
a resident of another community
on Oct 7, 2008 at 12:53 am

first of all u should try putting yourself in the shoes of the family n friends of your saying that people who can afford to buy expensive things they deserve to get robbed for it by others who cant? come on dude...lets b real....that chain was more to phil then diamonds. Isnt that why you are doin somethin with your life??? so u can afford to live better?? buy nice things??? your boy just wanted a story to tell....he just wanted to proove he was "tough"....this is the price you pay for tryin to be tough.....well let this be a story to tell....atleast this story has a lesson to be learned... It doesnt matter where you grew up or where you come from.....your values for human life should be the same. No one has the right to take anyones life...who the hell are you to decide when its some ones time to go? I get that koloto was your friend or family member...but phil was MINE and he didnt take anything from you.....and if it were the other way around and some one took some one special from you for a wouldnt be worried bout where that person was from or how they grew up....koloto took some ones son, some ones brother, some ones grandson.....some ones best friend.....and all you can say is phil shouldnt have flossed his chain??? Its not phils fault your boy grew up where he did or how he did....its not phils fault your boy cant afford to buy his own stuff......but it is your boys fault my very best friend is no longer here with us....its people that think the way you do, the world is so full of jealousy and hatred.....[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by Valley Resident
a resident of another community
on Oct 7, 2008 at 7:35 pm

FINALLY the Guilty is caught! YOu cant hide forever and this proves it. Now it's time for Koloto to pay the piper! Lets get this trial underway.

Posted by Thong
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Oct 7, 2008 at 8:28 pm

This is all just so sad :( Atleast phil in a better place

Posted by Innocent Until Proven Guilty
a resident of another community
on Oct 8, 2008 at 1:56 pm

So let me see if I get this straight. After a night of drinking, at 1:45 a.m., 15 minutes before bars legally close, Mr. Lacy and his friends are allegedly robbed by a "Pacific Islander" wearing a "black beanie, black gloves and a black-hooded sweatshirt." I suspect that the weakness in this case is going to center around eye witness testimony and identification by those who may or may not have been under the influence of alcohol. I certainly understand the frustration and anger maintained by Mr. Lacy's family and friends. Obviously, they want whoever killed their friend to be caught and convicted. However, before condemning Mr. Koloto, let's wait until all the facts have been released and he has been tried before a jury. Until then, he is innocent.

Posted by phils friend
a resident of another community
on Oct 11, 2008 at 9:03 pm

the friends of phil know more facts then anybody speaking on this case so just know that this guy is guilty. dont speak on something you read in the newspaper remember the newspaper only tells so much. happy birthday phil i love you!

Posted by GENI
a resident of another community
on Oct 24, 2008 at 2:31 pm


Posted by dont trip
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Mar 13, 2009 at 11:03 am

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


Post a comment

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Stay informed.

Get the day's top headlines from Palo Alto Online sent to your inbox in the Express newsletter.

Holiday Fun in San Francisco- Take the Walking Tour for An Evening of Sparkle!
By Laura Stec | 8 comments | 3,208 views

Boichik Bagels is opening its newest – and largest – location in Santa Clara this week
By The Peninsula Foodist | 0 comments | 2,246 views

I Do I Don't: How to build a better marriage Ch. 1, page 1
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,376 views


Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund

For the last 30 years, the Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund has given away almost $10 million to local nonprofits serving children and families. 100% of the funds go directly to local programs. It’s a great way to ensure your charitable donations are working at home.