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Mountain View parking dispute leads to fisticuffs

Original post made on Jan 30, 2013

A man punched a woman in the face after she slapped him inside a Mountain View supermarket Monday afternoon, police said. The confrontation allegedly stemmed from a dispute over the way the man parked his car.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, January 30, 2013, 4:03 PM

Comments (36)

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Posted by robit noops
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jan 30, 2013 at 8:53 pm

Sounds like something that would happen at Whole Foods.


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Posted by Rodney
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 30, 2013 at 9:25 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by Joe
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 30, 2013 at 9:31 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by charlie
a resident of Community Center
on Jan 30, 2013 at 9:39 pm

It seems all victims are women these days.. Is it an online fault?


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Posted by Henry
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 30, 2013 at 11:10 pm

Reminds me of Calhoun's studies in the 1960s on population density and it's effect on social behavior in rat colonies. This work was the basis of the book "Mrs. Frisbee and the Rats of NIMH" and the subsequent animated movie "The Secret of NIMH".

Calhoun observed that overcrowded populations resulted in both violent rats and "beautiful ones" that were passive and withdrawn from all social contact. Sound familiar?

The conclusion of Calhoun's experiment is that when all the space is taken, competition and stress leads to a total breakdown of all social behaviors and resulting extinction of the mice colony.

Calhoun saw this as a metaphor for the human race.


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Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 30, 2013 at 11:28 pm

In the last season of "Curb You Enthusiam" there is an episode about poor parking. It's funny, but not in real life. Over and over I notice what crappy parking jobs and crappy driving people do these days.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by Unknown
a resident of another community
on Jan 31, 2013 at 8:34 am

Hey Joe... My mom was the victim of this attack. Yes, my mom asked him in there was a reason why he needed 2 parking spaces. Its her right to ask. In case you forgot, its called freedom of speech. He followed her into the store and started ramming her with his cart. This guy knew what he was doing. He took his cart and pinned her in the aisle. He then grabbed her by her shirt collar and proceeded to come at her. My mom hit him in self defence to get him to back off. Thats when he punched her in the face. Why dont you get the whole story before you start throwing stones?


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Posted by Curious
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jan 31, 2013 at 9:09 am

If the scene actually played out as "Unknown" stated (presumably the son or daughter of the woman), then she may have slapped him in self-defense. That being said, slapping is one of the worst things to do in a self-defense situation. The best is of course to avoid the situation entirely. Next best is to get help from someone else (it was a supermarket, there MUST have been many people nearby). If you are going to actually hit someone, a slap is probably only going to escalate the encounter, causing the other person to get more angry and more physical. I think the woman did the right thing by calling this guy out in the parking lot. But if she felt threatened in the store, she should have brought attention to the issue by shouting and/or asking others to help. I really hope she enrolls in a self-defense class to better understand what to do if something like this ever happens again.


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Posted by Member
a resident of another community
on Jan 31, 2013 at 9:11 am

Clearly some important details were left out of the story. This happened to my mother and I want to set the record straight.

@Suzy - She was getting out of her war when the man parked moments later – sideways across two spots almost hitting her passenger side door of her car. That's what started the confrontation.

@H-Bomb, you're absolutely right – there were plenty of spots available, why he chose to park there, no one knows.

Words were spoken and they both walked off towards the store. They each went into two different directions. HE sought her out, rammed his cart into her multiple times – pushing her against the isle - while throwing terrible insults towards her. She DID yell for him to get away from her. There were people in the isle that saw what happened; however, chose not to come to her aid. He lunged towards her with his fist raised and she slapped him IN SELF DEFENSE.

She was cornered by the carts and couldn't run anywhere – that and she has a broken foot. That's when he doubled up his fist and punched her. After the incident, he ran out of the store and she followed to try and get his license plate number, but by the time she made it outside, he was pulling out of the driveway. No woman deserves to be punched by a man. He's more than 20 years older than she, and about 1' taller. Wouldn't be surprised if he's done this before – especially since he did this in broad daylight in public. I hope MVPD finds this guy!!


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Posted by neighbor
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 31, 2013 at 9:58 am

I have seen some terrible driving and parking in parking lots recently. It is tricky when entering Town & Country shopping center from Embarcadero - if you wish to make a left, YOU have the right of way, however almost all drivers coming from directly opposite, who have a stop sign, FAIL TO STOP! It is not like you - the one entering the center - can just hesitate and stop - because you usually have a bunch of drivers coming right after you who expect you to keep moving into the center! Some enforcement of this stop sign is srongly needed.
There is also the CVS shopping center at corner of El Camino Real and San Antonio - I have reason to go in there, entering from San Antonio, however very often when I am driving down a particular one-way aisle, I find drivers illegally coming right at me - WRONG WAY! Someone has to swerve, back up or etc. It is a huge hassle, perhaps a design error on the construction of the lot, but I am sick and tired of entitled drivers coming right at me at speed going the wrong way. I gather the police aren't interested because these are private lots.
- so I feel for your mother.


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Posted by facts
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 31, 2013 at 10:56 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by Change
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 31, 2013 at 11:15 am

This area used to be a nice place, with friendly people who, by and large, had enough civic sense to follow traffic rules, and be polite and kind.

Now, we have people with an inflated sense of self and here is the result. Google anyone? They sure have an attitude, there; them and others of the same ilk.


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Posted by Neighbor
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jan 31, 2013 at 12:13 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 31, 2013 at 1:19 pm

Lucky's should have surveillance video of at least the front door if not the entire incident.


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Posted by some guy
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 31, 2013 at 1:23 pm

Enough talk, lets see what the market's security cameras have to say


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Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 31, 2013 at 1:54 pm

Unknown, a resident of another community, above, thanks for explaining the details.

Not to be critical or anything, but she should have gotten the store manager or called the police right there rather than slapped the guy though. I hope your mom is not the one to get in trouble here.

Almost every time I go to park within eyesight is someone who parked inconsiderately or illegally, and nothing is ever done about that. That is what creates a kind of barbarian attitude on the part of people. People want order and predictability, they want to be able to park without having to be contortionists to get out and back into their cars. I get particularly riled with I am hungry and going to lunch over on California street and see people parking like this where there are very few free street parking places anyway. The one thing you don't ever really know is if the person you are blaming had to park the way they did because of someone else's bad parking job earlier????

Your mom was right to try to point out or shame that guy, but after all, it is just a parking place.


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Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 31, 2013 at 1:59 pm

Change, why would you without any evidence try to associate Google employees with some kind of violent crime or uncivil behavior, that does not seem right and it's not right.

And to the Editor, who saw fit to delete some part of my earlier post ... why? I know you can never seem to get it right, because my mostly polite civil posts are often censored while posts from people like Change are left to imply that all Google employees are some kind of thugs ... go figure!


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Posted by Annie d'Anecdote
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 31, 2013 at 2:11 pm

Regardless of their sex, no one should hit someone else without expecting to be hit back.


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Posted by Member
a resident of another community
on Jan 31, 2013 at 2:15 pm

@Facts - This happened to my mother - I was told what had happened moments after the incident. I'm curious - did you read my comment - because if you did, then clearly you wouldn't assume she was the agressor. If she was... I highly doubt she would call the police while the coward ran away!?!

@Anon - the store manager could really care less about what happened. He didn't get involved until the police got there. Only one employee showed any compassion for the incident. The incident happened so fast, she wouldn't have had any time to call the police. As for his parking job, there were plenty of spots - he must have felt the rules didn't apply to him. It wasn't even how he parked that sparked the situation - it was the fact that he almost hit her car that got her upset.

The MVPD has a copy of the security footage. In addition he went to the BofA ATM right before he confronted her in the aisle, so hopefully we'll be able to find out exactly who this guy is by their ATM cameras. I really hope he is reading all of this!!


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Posted by facts
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 31, 2013 at 2:26 pm

Member--not sure where you are getting your info from--what you say is hearsay--you were not there.
The story states:
"According to the woman, the man made her feel threatened -- like he was "coming at her," Thompson said -- and she slapped him. "

The woman does not say she was attacked by shopping carts like you claim. Sounds like she freely admits attacking the man first.

And if the police have video footage, it all should be very clear what happened. Right now all we have is the word of this woman--could be she is guilty of bad behavior in the parking lot andis trying to cover her tracks.


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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of another community
on Jan 31, 2013 at 4:33 pm

Facts - what part of THIS WAS MY MOTHER are you not understanding??


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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 31, 2013 at 5:07 pm



Luckys owns the parking lot

It is no of this woman's business how people park there-it is Luckys business.

If she felt "threatened" in some way by poor parking etiquette she should have asked to speak to the store manager-who would have been polite and then ignored her compliant as bizarre-which it was.

If she slapped him then she is guilty of assault-if he used used reasonable defense-then he used reasonable defense against her on him assault.

The MVPD must have much more important issues to deal with.


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Posted by Not an issue
a resident of Community Center
on Jan 31, 2013 at 5:27 pm

I see 3 postings, by member, unknown and anonymous, who all claim to be the son(s) of the woman involved. Interesting.
The story states that there were no witnesses. The " victim" says that she was made to feel threatened. No where do I see any evidence that this woman was attacked first. I understand a "son" wanting to defend his mother, but since he was not there.......


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Posted by Member
a resident of another community
on Jan 31, 2013 at 6:17 pm

@Sharon - perhaps you should get your facts straight before posting. Lucky's does not own the parking lot. Furthermore, it is her business if the guy nearly hits her car. She has every right to get upset.

Absolutelly she hit him. If some guy came after me, I would do the same thing. But I guess its always easy to make stupid comments when you're behind a computer screen, isn't it Sharon?

Let's hope this does not happen to you - I have a sneaking suspicion that you would be singing another tune!!

@Not an Issue - then why are you concerning yourself with it? BTW - we never claimed to be "sons". We're her daughters who are much more involved with the case then the story leads on. Just because its not in print, doesn't mean its not fact.


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Posted by Not an issue
a resident of Community Center
on Jan 31, 2013 at 6:21 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of Mountain View
on Jan 31, 2013 at 6:25 pm

Web Link


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jan 31, 2013 at 6:28 pm

Dear daughters of the victim - Sharon is best ignored. I am sorry for what happened - it sounds terrifying. Weirdly, I have a friend who was slapped at a MV Lucky - the woman who hit her was some whackjob and was never caught.

I hope this man is found and prosecuted - he is a menace.


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Posted by Not an issue
a resident of Community Center
on Jan 31, 2013 at 6:34 pm

What was wrong with previous post.?? Does it violate the weekly policy to question how the "children" of the victim would be involved in an official police investigation?
Really, sometimes your policy makes no sense whatsoever.


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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 31, 2013 at 7:39 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by Huh?
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Feb 1, 2013 at 9:34 am

Did the woman think the guy would say, "Sorry, ma'am, I will re-park"? I would have not said anything because I know I can't change strangers and have no idea what their backgrounds are or what they've been through. Perhaps this guy just got evicted or whatever problems. Live and let live.


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Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 3, 2013 at 3:17 am

This whole draconian effort to make people miserable parking their cars must have been designed by a consortium of body shop owners, back specialists, lawyers and developers .... it's ridiculous.

It's practically impossible to park a car now and get in and out without twisting your back out or dropping whatever you might have in your hand.

People are so freaky I would be nervous to say anything to people, and I would be wiling to bet this guy was perhaps working out and glucose depleted and perhaps testosterone fortified or just plain nuts.

I have once or twice not parked perfect ... although for me I only do it when there is no one else around ... but if someone called me on it, I'd just say, yeah, I'll do better next time or something ... they'd be right, but although oddly enough today I did repark when my girlfriend could not get out of her side of my car ... but I would not once I was out and going to my destination.

How about making a parking space large enough for people to park in ... and how about aggressively towing and ticketing people if they park really badly.

I remember people in Palo Alto used to get tickets for parking too far from the curb for God's sake.

I hope the find this guy and I hope he gets fined and given community serves or something, that is just plumb nasty. If I ever saw anyone doing that to someone in public I'd call the cops or a guard or something. If someone ran their cart into mine deliberately I'd be pissed.

These days what I get are those people who like to stand to close to you in line, just by a little or push their carts right up next to you withing a centimeter.

If someone would build a city where they throw our bums abusive jerks and barbarians I'd move their in a second - this is what what life used to be like when I was kid - people have been driven crazy for everyone to be acting like this. I never would have thought that things in our world would be getting worse on so many levels instead of much much better ... what is going on? ;-)


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 3, 2013 at 9:03 am

Reading through all this, I am just so pleased that neither of these people had a gun. What on earth would it have been like if they both had had one? It doesn't bear thinking about. Thankfully they were both 'armless.


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Posted by some guy
a resident of another community
on Feb 3, 2013 at 1:26 pm

I hate it when people park like like that. It's selfish and inconsiderate. It seems like more and more people are proud of themselves for being like that these days. Another thing that bugs me is compact parking spaces. Do they really think that someone driving a non-compact vehicle is going to go find someplace else to park? Especially when it's the last place available? It's really just a lame excuse for putting in parking that isn't big enough.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 4, 2013 at 8:32 am

I really wish people in Palo Alto had to fear such a reaction from others; then, they might keep their mouths shut more. Palo Altans are too opinionated and have no hesitation to tell off a complete stranger.


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Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 4, 2013 at 12:39 pm

I agree with SomeGuy above

1. I hate it when people park like like that
2. people are proud of themselves for being like that these days
3. someone driving a non-compact vehicle is not going to go find someplace else to park
4. it's a lame excuse for putting in parking that isn't big enough.

Well said.


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Posted by Anon
a resident of Mountain View
on Feb 8, 2013 at 11:33 am

I've been known to flatten a tire or 2 after a parking lot altercation and then leaving a note for the perpetrator ... Usually someone driving too fast in a parking lot and or parking poorly- then having a bad attitude when confronted......
I let them walk away thinking that he/she got the best of me... and then the offender will get the hint that is attitude is the reason behind his 2 flat tires...no damage, just let the air out.... - just an inconvenience for a poor attitude... Why can't people Just be nice, realize you screwed up and repark or slow down, with a nice attitude and a smile...


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