http://paloaltoonline.com/square/print/2014/07/24/man-punched-knocked-unconscious-in-downtown-palo-alto


Town Square

Man punched, knocked unconscious in downtown Palo Alto

Original post made on Jul 24, 2014

Palo Alto police are seeking witnesses to a battery that occurred in downtown Palo Alto last Thursday, July 17, when a man allegedly punched another man on the side of the head, causing him to lose consciousness.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, July 24, 2014, 8:06 AM

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Carlos
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 24, 2014 at 9:43 am

As we try to project an image of a world-class city, it's time to do something basic that all sophisticated cities have: security cameras monitoring the streets


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Duveneck School
on Jul 24, 2014 at 10:13 am

Knocked unconscious, unprovoked, at 10PM? No verbal? Shaky facts.

Yes, security cameras are in order. The incoming, new City Council will have the brains to have them installed.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by David
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 24, 2014 at 10:20 am

Is it true that "all sophisticated cities" have security cameras monitoring streets? Yes, London, certainly some others, but "all" ???


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jack
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 24, 2014 at 10:31 am

Hopefully this isn't the "Knockout" game's arrival in Palo Alto, if not already here.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by David Pepperdine
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 24, 2014 at 10:54 am

I guess by definition, a city is sophisticated if it has security cameras monitoring the streets? A city is pseudo-sophisticated if it has a bloated bureaucracy, is located next to a renowned university, has a corrupt and bloated utilities department and hosts more opinions than residents?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by resident
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 24, 2014 at 10:58 am

London has a very expensive blanket of security cameras [portion removed.] Is street crime so serious in Palo Alto that this expense is worth the cost?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Raymond
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jul 24, 2014 at 11:02 am

I have been living in the area for six years now. I have never been attacked. But, I have also never walked the streets at night. Is there a correlation? Absolutely.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mike
a resident of Mountain View
on Jul 24, 2014 at 11:03 am

black or Hispanic, eh? How exactly did they come to that conclusion? are those the allowed bogey races? and the other people with some skin pigment can't be suggested? What in the world do those terms mean? think about it. Perhaps "not fair skinned" would be a better descriptor? I mean, aren't we looking for physical descriptions, not racial stereotypes? Black or Hispanic is like saying he was wearing something that looked like a JCrew shirt, without describing the color or style of the shirt.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 24, 2014 at 11:09 am

I'm gonna assume the story happened as told.

We are so used to seeing the image of men fighting, getting wounded,
jumping right back up and wounding the other guy right back or worse
and the worst that happens is that one of them eventually takes a nap.

The reality is a blow like this could kill someone, or really hurt them in
ways that are not able to be dealt with - legally or medically.

I guess legally part of a murder charge has to do with intent, and if someone
does kill someone else in this kind of a crime for some reason it is
difficult to charge them with murder, but it is murder in my opinion, just
like someone driving a car drunk can murder someone through their
own negligence.

In fact I see more reason for the car drunk to be looked at with mercy
than this guy - at least a drunk in a car needed to get somewhere or
so they thought. Someone who hits someone and knocks them out,
unprovoked really has no good reason except either they are just bad
people of they let themselves get mad.

I read about enough of these now that I do think it is makes sense for
Palo Alto have street cameras. For God's sake any thought about the
matter at all says look at who we are protecting.

Though experiment ... Steve Jobs liked to take walks in Palo Alto. Imagine
if "a" Steve Jobs runs into something like this, or a Stanford Professor or
any of us ... are we not worth spending the money to set up at least a
decent deterrent as well as a source of information at the time to
determine cars in the area, bicycles other interactions or possible witnesses?

Get the cameras.

It might be interesting if some enterprising tech person could put together
a turnkey system that people or businesses could buy that would go up to
monitor public places from private properties ... crowdsourced deterrence.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 24, 2014 at 11:25 am

>> black or Hispanic, eh? How exactly did they come to that conclusion? are those the allowed bogey races?

If that is how the witness described it we'd have to assume that this is what means the most to him - presumably they would know. I'd have to agree with you if there was an outdated or offense terms used.


But the description black or hispanic is just not offense and not the same as the description darker complected.

Complexion can be light or dark and vary in tone, features can and be Caucasian, Asian, African, Latin, Aboriginal, Native American, etc; or any mixture... that is, some mixture of indeterminate ethnic features that are by nature subjective to the victim - but which conveys more information and thus a better description.
Not-fair-skinned would be something completely different.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Solon
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 24, 2014 at 11:32 am

"Black knock out a white" is now a well known game, by which some blacks harass whites.

Common across the country. Sad. Wrong. Shows bad culture of course in some, can in be corrected?

We were walking in Berkeley campus, black man, probably mentally I'll, through heavy rocks at me and mynEurpean guest, striking one of us.

Of course,there is nothing to do but walk on. Police not effective in these situations.

Sad. Embarrassed for our country.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Terrence
a resident of University South
on Jul 24, 2014 at 11:42 am

Do you people seriously believe security cameras would have prevented this attack?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Carl
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 24, 2014 at 11:51 am

Whoa, Terrence, what do you mean "you people"? PA once again shows off its true prejudices


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Terrence
a resident of University South
on Jul 24, 2014 at 11:54 am

Solon, "black knock out white"? That sounds like more Palo Alto fraidy cat racism. The "game", if it can be called that, is "knock out". The attacker and victim can be of any race. That such activity exists speaks volumes about our increasingly degenerate society. Palo Alto exists within society, and so is subject to its ills.

So some dude in Bezerkeley hit your friend with a large rock and you did nothing?!? That kind of response is a big part of the problem. You could have called the cops. If the assailant was mentally ill, that would be all the more important.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Terrence
a resident of University South
on Jul 24, 2014 at 11:59 am

Carl, by "you people" I meant the folks claiming that security cameras are a panacea. What did you think I meant? Just throwing security cameras at the problem isn't really a solution. Part of a solution? Maybe, but only if well thought out and part of a larger remedy. Normal, well-adjusted people don't go around punching people.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 24, 2014 at 12:05 pm

Terrence are you asserting that security cameras offer no deterrent value and that someone would commit a crime in front of one knowing they could be identified and caught?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Duveneck School
on Jul 24, 2014 at 12:26 pm

In college psychology class, we were asked, "What would you do if you know you couldn't be caught?" and a list was compiled - mostly crimes. No one wants to be busted. Security cameras would help. More visible police officers in uniform would help. How is New York so safe now? More cops. Palo Alto needs to put money into more police force, not into Mitchell Park Library.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jul 24, 2014 at 12:39 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

How is NYC so much safer now? Police brutality.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mr.Recycle
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 24, 2014 at 12:39 pm

@Terrence - there have been several studies the security camera do deter crime, and are cheaper than more police officers, but I'd like both.

Even if it doesn't deter crime, it is a useful tool to find and arrest criminals after they have committed the crime. Do you want the guy arrested and convicted? Then video of him committing the crime is going to help.

Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Took me 3 seconds
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Jul 24, 2014 at 12:44 pm

Obviously, it's the "knockout" fad that is spreading throughout our nation.
Thugs are actually hitting complete strangers, for no reason other than to record the incident for their entertainment value, disregarding the fact that someone is going to get hurt or killed.
Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Dennis
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 24, 2014 at 12:47 pm

It is doubtful if cameras would impact the crime rate, such as it is, in Palo Alto. Google: CCTV London crime rate. Of course, private funding, including maintenance, would at least not burden the taxpayer with the expense of a questionable security surveillance system.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by PARG
a resident of another community
on Jul 24, 2014 at 12:52 pm

To understand how serious this matter is, I would suggest that all city council prospects will view this important video from CBS.
Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Terrence
a resident of University South
on Jul 24, 2014 at 1:04 pm

@CrescentParkAnon.

"Terrence are you asserting that security cameras offer no deterrent value and that someone would commit a crime in front of one knowing they could be identified and caught?"

Since I earlier wrote:

"Just throwing security cameras at the problem isn't really a solution. Part of a solution? Maybe, but only if well thought out and part of a larger remedy."

Does that seem like an assertion that security cameras offer no deterrent?

All someone has to do is pull their hoodie over their head and identification becomes more difficult. And yes, there are a few peeps around who don't really care if they are on camera. Stupid to be sure, but those who randomly attack others aren't going to be the sharpest tools in the shed. If we blanket Palo Alto with security cameras, then... ? What about the follow up? Or better yet, the rest of the ounce of prevention?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Terrence
a resident of University South
on Jul 24, 2014 at 1:18 pm

Mr. Recycle, while there are several studies that conclude security cameras do deter crime, there are also studies that conclude the opposite. You might find this article interesting Web Link.

Truth be told, one can find studies supporting or refuting nearly any position. Palo Alto is a very low-crime community, and random attacks - or attacks of any sort - very infrequent. How would cameras or anything else lower the crime rate? Some responses here seem like the typical panic that ensues whenever so much as ripple appears in our pond. Good grief, we are afraid of our own shadows!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Rich
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jul 24, 2014 at 1:34 pm

wow - seems safer to walk by a eucolyptus tree in the park than walk across the street downtown


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Joe
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 24, 2014 at 1:35 pm

Coming to Palo Alto to commit a crime is like trick or treating 365 days a year. There are plenty of affluent, non violent people who are unfortunately marked as easy targets targeted here. Where is the police presence to more regularly patrol the city? Police presence has been shown to be the best crime deterrent. My limited experiences with the police here are that they are very solid, but there is not enough of them. I am told that it is not in the budget. You're telling me that in a city where do many major companies with headquarters and we receive corporate taxes, property taxes, and the level of wealth amongst the citizens that we cannot afford enough city services including police? Help me understand the decision making in the city council?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Nora Charles
a resident of Stanford
on Jul 24, 2014 at 1:50 pm

Nora Charles is a registered user.

I'm happy the victim is okay. About 20 years ago Mr. Charles, two male friends, and I were walking to a train station at night in Holland. Two men (probably drunk) passed us on the sidewalk and one of them hit Mr. C in the side of the head, knocking off his glasses. His nose was slightly injured.

Anything can happen out of the blue like this, at any time, (almost) anywhere, and knowing that is unnerving.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jennifer H.
a resident of Mountain View
on Jul 24, 2014 at 2:27 pm

Perhaps the advocates of more cameras and more police would like Eric Holder and the Justice Dept to also investigate this? Then you can get Susan Rice and the NSA to join in too. Ah, Palo Alto, (home of "Mr. More Government" --Joe Simitian who enjoys making more laws.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Jul 24, 2014 at 2:41 pm

Cameras on every block? Yet more police? Yet more lighting? Our city is one of the safest in the country. Is any of this really necessary?

How about cutting down all the trees and removing all shrubbery? Pave it all over, this way no thugs could use them for cover, and we'd have full visibility for all the security cameras we're going to be installing. How about a mandatory curfew for all ages after 10:00pm, seven-days a week? What about high-altitude unmanned drones to monitor and make sure our rooftops are protected. Currently there is no one keeping tabs on my tilework, and this worries me. Get a grip.

What is the goal here, to get crime to absolute zero? Occasionally violence and crime will occur, it's a fact of life. We live in the safest period in American history, yet I get this feeling that people keep wanting to push things further and further.

Once we give up all privacy for zero risk and absolute security, and crime still occurs, what will we be giving up next?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by neighbor
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 24, 2014 at 2:56 pm

The "knockout game" has been described on national news and is outrageous and can seriously injure or kill innocent persons, and those who do this should be stopped and arrested and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. It is no joke. There have been cases of thugs and teens hitting young women over the head in subway stations and other things that suggest this is a "game" where these young criminals keep count. I think police around the country should place full attention on stopping this appalling dangerous anti-societal criminal behavior.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by UnCool "Game"
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 24, 2014 at 3:34 pm

I know a female Caucasian senior citizen living in the North Beach area of San Francisco. Late last year, she was walking (using a cane) down her street at about 10AM, when a young Caucasian man with a hooded sweat shirt came up and punched her in the chest.

She had seen the "game" on the national news, and her assault was not reported. Only one man saw it happen, and he asked her if she was okay. But the perpetrator ran off, and few people were around to even see what happened. Other than soreness, she was alright, though startled.

It was reported in the news last January that a woman from Los Gatos was also hit in this way, and at an early time of day in a downtown parking lot, while shopping.

I do not think the perpetrator was caught in the Los Gatos instance either. So two assaults, both men hitting women. One of them was a senior citizen, with a cane. That is low and it is UNcool.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by joe
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 24, 2014 at 3:56 pm

#anonymous

People die from major head injury resulting from a blow to the head or striking their head to the pavement following a note. I am a physician and these are the facts. If Palo Alto is so safe, why are there burglaries regularly occurring in homes where people are present and car break ins, sometimes 15 , or more in one setting. Police visibility and presence to deter crime does not mean is just practical practice. Most cities exercise this approach because studies have shown this is effective. Does not mean that we live in a police state. I prefer not to bury my head and pretend that everything is peachy keen when these crime reports continue to occur in our suburb.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by William
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 24, 2014 at 4:39 pm

@Joe: One deterrent would be for Palo Alto to pass an Open Carry law. That will put the fear of God in these thugs.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Duveneck School
on Jul 24, 2014 at 4:45 pm

@William: Then we have shootouts around town? You think these thugs have a "fear of God?"


 +   Like this comment
Posted by joe
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 24, 2014 at 5:09 pm

@william

I'm in favor of some gun control and actually letting the law enforcement professionals do their job. Visibility and patrol is what works and published studies support it. Why do we need to "tolerate" some crime in our town? I always thought that breaking the law was wrong.

Apologies for typos in earlier postings due to "smart" phone.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Jul 24, 2014 at 5:54 pm

Hi Joe, I'm not a physician, but I have been beaten a few times and I can confirm you speak the truth. Beatings do hurt and are dangerous to one's health. However, I still don't see how these violent incidents in our town warrant a system of surveillance cameras or more police hiring. This is a walking/riding town, I see people all over the place at all hours. To feel secure in your scenario the ideal surveillance system and police presence would have to extend beyond downtown and into the residential neighborhoods as well. This seems impractical, expensive, and completely unnecessary.

Regarding thefts from cars; I don't see how increased police presence would help slow this down, unless police were actively on-site where these were occurring. Perhaps an on-duty security guard for areas where cars are densely packed could be warranted.

Smash'n'grabs are incredibly quick, that's why they're so widespread. The incident of fifteen in a row that you mention would probably have taken under 15-20 minutes. Bust window, grab contents, repeat. Keeping valuables locked in the glove box or car trunk is usually the easiest way to avoid this type of crime - ask anyone who lives in San Francisco.

I'd need to see some statistics before I agree with your wording of "regularly" occurring crimes. A glance at some numbers gleaned from Web Link (data up till 2012), indicates that the peoples residing in Palo Alto are just under 3x safer than the U.S. average, when comparing the gamut of crimes committed per 100,000 people. As crime tends to decrease in times of prosperity and we exit this recessionary economic cycle, we could assume crime figures will further decrease.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by @downtown
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 24, 2014 at 11:25 pm

Security cameras have done magic in large cities like London. It is time to stop the nonsense about privacy concerns in public areas and install security cameras around the city. It is very easy to commit a random act of violence in the city and get away with it.

The other solution is to have police do random walk around downtown. Just the knowledge that police may be around the corner can be enough deterrent for criminals.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by K
a resident of University South
on Jul 25, 2014 at 4:22 am

I moved from Redmond Washington before relocating to Palo Alto. In Redmond there were police officers on bicycles riding in pairs visible day and night on the streets and also their hiking and biking trails. These days, I live next to the police station here in yours truly. The only time I see an officer is when they are making a beeline on a call out of here. In my opinion, Redmond was a well run, economically balanced, community. Palo Alto seems to have become a victim of real estate's golden calf syndrome, a lot of window dressing and misplaced priorities.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jul 25, 2014 at 5:57 am

Redmond was not a good example of downtown safety last week, 1/4 mile from City Hall.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Estrella
a resident of Gunn High School
on Jul 25, 2014 at 11:31 am

[Post removed.]


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sad
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 28, 2014 at 9:38 am

It should surprise me that many of these comments are offensive towards the Black and Latino Cultures, but it doesn't.
It should surprise me that black and latino have different (varying) skin complexions and yet- they are the "default" ethnicities given to to the police. Mike and CrescentParkAnon have it right. You can't make a guess at a race. Its unfair. And its also how many wrongly convicted young men of color end up in prison.

It's 10:10pm, and the witness is walking right next to the victim? Standing across the street? Happened to be walking by and see the whole thing? Which is it? No location of the witness is given here which is sketchy to me...

Still waiting on the World to Change...


 +   Like this comment
Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 28, 2014 at 11:39 am

>> Does that seem like an assertion that security cameras offer no deterrent?


Terrence, yes it does when over and over you dismiss the idea. Yes, someone can pull their hoodie over their head as the group who last robbed (with guns) the Midtown 7-11 did. But in downtown Palo Alto with enough cameras they would have to pull up their hoodies enough so that they would look suspicious and there is a much greater chance that they could be tracked, reported or caught.

If you think it is part of the solution, why are you so negative every time it gets mentioned instead of expressing an enthusiastic - let's try it?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Terrence
a resident of University South
on Jul 30, 2014 at 6:00 pm

@CrescentParkAnon, the idea I am dismissing is that of knee jerk reactions and flying into a wild panic. Out of control emotions are hardly an appropriate response to what is essentially a mugging, a very rare occurrence in Palo Alto. Violent crime is extraordinarily rare in our town, and so there is very little crime reduction to be had. Blanketing the town with security cameras might reduce crime, but only by an infinitesimal margin. At best, it would be a very poor return on the investment, money that could better be spent elsewhere.

People in most other locales would give their eye teeth to have Palo Alto's crime rate. And we think the sky is falling... No wonder outsiders think we have a collective screw loose. We need to calm down and grow up.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Terrence
a resident of University South
on Jul 30, 2014 at 6:03 pm

@Sad wrote:
"It should surprise me that many of these comments are offensive towards the Black and Latino Cultures, but it doesn't."

Given that Palo Alto is one of the most racist towns around, why should it surprise you? Palo Altans like to pat themselves on the back and think they are oh so perfect and politically correct. This facade simply doesn't jibe with reality. I think a lot of the racism comes from ignorance coupled with many residents' very marked tendency to panic. To be fair, not all Palo Altans are racist, far from it. Those who aren't bigoted probably wish those who are would pack up and leave. I know I do.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mr.Recycle
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 30, 2014 at 10:07 pm

@Terence - Even if cameras don't deter crime (they do), they help ensure arrest and conviction. Note the story going on in Los Angeles right now where a chinese grad student was murdered, and the killers were caught due to a network of surveillance cameras and license plate readers.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 31, 2014 at 12:08 pm

Terrence:
> @CrescentParkAnon, the idea I am dismissing is that of knee jerk reactions and flying into a wild panic. Out of control emotions are hardly an appropriate response to what is essentially a mugging, a very rare occurrence in Palo Alto. Violent crime is extraordinarily rare in our town, and so there is very little crime reduction to be had. Blanketing the town with security cameras might reduce crime, but only by an infinitesimal margin.

First you exaggerated what I said to you as knee-jerking, hardly, and that is unhelpful for discussion, so why are you running away from a serious discussion?

Second, who had out of control emotions? ... maybe you, since you did exaggerate and distort what you are saying to the point of having no more relevance to the issue.

Third, I am glad you personally are happy that you have never been mugged and your calculus of life computes that for yourself there is very little chance of running up against a mugging ... but to me and I think most people YOU are not the issue - the people getting mugged are. Over time the numbers and seriousness of these kinds of crimes as well as the weapons involved are going up. I've been in Palo Alto since 1970.

Fourth ... how is it that you are able to predict the future and decide what level of security camera coverage would deliver what level of crime reduction and then ... yes, DISMISS, the whole idea as being insignificant ... and without any mention of what the cost might be or how any such system would work? Why not just investigate the options?

Finally, how about responding without exaggeration on a serious level ... like perhaps thinking about how you would feel if you were mugged and someone was loudly dismissing your experience as being an acceptable loss, because the EPA crime rate is so much higher?