Police: Man arrested for threatening guard with knife

Incident occurred at Town & Country Village in Palo Alto on Aug. 23

Palo Alto police arrested a man after he allegedly said he would cut a private security guard who had asked him to leave a private area of the Town & Country Shopping Center on El Camino Real on Sunday, Aug. 23.

At around 7:30 p.m., police were dispatched to the shopping center, located at 855 El Camino Real, after reports that a private security guard patrolling the shopping center was threatened with a knife.

Investigators said the victim, a man in his 40s, saw the suspect, later identified as Michael David Perrine, 41, enter an alleyway in the shopping center that is only accessible to authorized personnel. The guard followed Perrine and found him crouching underneath a stairwell, police said. After the guard asked him to leave the area, Perrine allegedly verbally challenged the guard, police said. Perrine left the alleyway after the guard said he would call police.

Police said Perrine then allegedly displayed an unsheathed pocket knife with an exposed blade that was tucked in the waistband of his pants and told the guard he was going to cut him. When Perrine advanced, the guard ordered him to stop, but Perrine ignored his orders and continued to walk toward the guard, police said.

In an effort to protect himself, police said, the guard sprayed pepper in Perrine's face. Perrine left and the guard called police.

Officers responded, but it was a deputy sheriff from the Stanford Department of Public Safety who detained Perrine without incident nearby a short time later, police said.

The guard was not injured but personnel from the Palo Alto Fire Department treated him for exposure to pepper spray.

Perrine, who has no permanent residence, was booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail for felony criminal threats and misdemeanor brandishing.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the police department at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to or sent via text message or voicemail to 650-383-8984.

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