A truck driver who police said almost ran over an officer in Palo Alto last Thursday night before speeding away through the residential streets was arrested hours later in San Jose.
Police said Robert Angelo Ayala, 52, was pulled over by an officer on El Camino Real, just south of Hansen Way, shortly after 8 p.m. for a vehicle-code violation. After checking his ID, the officer learned that Ayala was on active probation for narcotics possession and resisting arrest, police said. Ayala, who was driving a 1996 Dodge Ram pickup trick, also allegedly showed symptoms of being under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
After a second officer arrived at the scene, the officer who pulled Ayala over asked him to step out of the car so that they could conduct a probation search and a DUI investigation. At that point, Ayala allegedly accelerated, took off at what police said was a "high rate of speed," and nearly hit the second officer, who had been standing near the passenger door and who jumped back to avoid having the truck run over his feet.
Police said Ayala, a San Jose resident, then sped off north on El Camino Real, ultimately turning east on Embarcadero Road and turning onto residential streets. Once his speed reached 60 mph, police stopped chasing him out of concern for public safety, police said in a press release. The truck was last seen heading north on Waverley Street and turning east on Hamilton Avenue, police said.
Over the next few hours, a police investigated Ayala and ultimately located him at a private residence in the 500 block of North 21st Street in San Jose. Just before 1 a.m. Friday, San Jose Police Department officers took Ayala into custody, police said. They then turned him over to the Palo Alto police.
Ayala was booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail and charged with felony assault with a deadly weapon for nearly striking the officer with his truck. He also faces charges of felony evading, driving under the influence and driving on a suspended driver license. He is also being charged with violating his probation, police said.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call 650-329-2413, email tips to firstname.lastname@example.org or text them to 650-383-8984. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through the department's mobile app, downloadable at bit.ly/PAPD-AppStore.