News


Five suspects nabbed after downtown hit-and-run

Block-by-block search leads Palo Alto police to three suspects hiding in a shed

A manhunt for suspects in a downtown Palo Alto hit-and-run concluded early Friday evening at a Waverley Street shed, where three people who were involved in the collision were reportedly hiding, police said.

Palo Alto police, aided by officers from neighboring jurisdictions, two K-9 units and a California Highway Patrol helicopter, scoured downtown streets for more than two hours Friday afternoon after the suspects' vehicle struck a bicyclist on Homer Avenue, causing her major injuries.

At about 6 p.m., a police dog led officers to the shed on the 700 block of Waverley. Police arrested Jonah Theallo Johnson, 20, of Oakland, Johntaeja S. Carpenter and Johnquaeja Dupreshamichelle Carpenter, both 18 of Stockton, on an assortment of charges. Officers had determined that Johntaeja Carpenter was the driver and charged her with felony hit-and-run, police stated in a news release.

Two other suspects who police said were in the vehicle -- D'Marco Aaron Hal, 18, of Oakland, and Daniel Lamar Lesley, 18, of Lathrop -- were captured earlier in the afternoon, closer to the scene of the incident.

Police determined that Hal was also the outstanding suspect from the December burglary of the downtown Apple Store -- an incident in which 10 burglars shattered the store's glass front by driving a rented SUV through it.

The bicyclist, a woman in her 40s, reportedly suffered several broken bones and other injuries. She is expected to survive, police said.

The accident occurred a little before 3:30 p.m. Police said an officer was trying to stop a vehicle, a Volkswagen Touareg, for an infraction on Emerson Street, near Homer Avenue, when the vehicle sped off. Police said the driver made a left on Homer -- which is a one-way street -- against traffic.

When the officer turned the corner, the suspect vehicle was no longer in sight, police said. The officer saw an injured bicyclist on the ground with serious injuries and stopped to render aid.

Police said a doctor also provided some aid to the biker before she was transported to a local hospital with several broken bones.

Witnesses who saw the Volkswagen told the police that the suspects had stopped in the 700 block of Ramona Street. Five suspects were seen running out of the car. Minutes after the incident was reported, police found and apprehended Hal and Lesley on Forest Avenue.

Police then began a block-by-block search focused on the area just south of University, including portions of Bryant, Cowper and Waverley streets. They set up a perimeter with assistance from the California Highway Patrol, the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office and police officers from Mountain View, Menlo Park and Stanford University. The perimeter was bounded by Cowper and Ramona streets and included Homer, Channing and Forest avenues.

Because Johnson and the Carpenters had jumped fences as they tried to escape, officers had to lift the police dogs over fences as they followed the suspects' scent, Agent Marianna Villaescusa said.

The break in the case came at about 6 p.m., when Kodiak, a police dog from Sunnyvale, sniffed out the trio and led his partner, Officer Bill Whitaker, to the shed, which was within the perimeter area. Villaescusa said the three hid behind many different objects in the shed and officers may have missed them if Kodiak hadn't sniffed them out and started barking.

The three refused commands to surrender and had to be taken into custody with the help of the K-9 team. One woman was allegedly "nipped" by a police dog and was treated at the scene, while the other complained of a bite (though there was no evidence of the bite, Villaescusa said).

All five suspects were booked in the Santa Clara County Main Jail at about 2 a.m. Saturday morning. In addition to the felony hit and run, Johntaeja Carpenter was charged with felony evading, misdemeanor prowling and misdemeanor resisting/delaying arrest.

Police also learned that Johnson was on parole for robbery and had a no-bail felony warrant out for his arrest for a parole violation, according to the news release. He and Johnquaeia Dupreshamichelle Carpenter were both charged with misdemeanor prowling and misdemeanor resisting/delaying arrest (Johnson was also charged for his parole violation).

Hal was booked for burglary, vandalism and participating in a street gang while committing a felony for the Dec. 4 burglary at the Apple Store (all of these charges are felonies). Police are recommending that Hal also be charged with a misdemeanor resisting/delaying arrest, the same charge on which Lesley was booked

Officers didn't find any weapons in the car, and the car had not been reported stolen, Villaescusa said. And aside from Hal's participation in the Apple Store burglary, police are not aware of any other connections the suspects have to any previous Palo Alto crimes. Police said they are continuing to investigate the case.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the police department's 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be e-mailed to paloalto@tipnow.org or sent via text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through the department's free mobile app, downloadable at bit.ly/PAPD-AppStore or bit.ly/PAPD-GooglePlay.

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Comments

15 people like this
Posted by maditalian_1492
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 17, 2017 at 5:47 pm

maditalian_1492 is a registered user.

Wouldn't it be reasonable to post a description of one or all of the suspects. It would be in the public interest to know who is being pursued. Suppose one or all of them are armed and dangerous?! So who, exactly, should we be looking out for?


1 person likes this
Posted by Bambi
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 17, 2017 at 5:54 pm

maditalian_1492

The only description is they are dark - more details will come as they are provided
Keep in mind not all details have been provided to media


9 people like this
Posted by Amy
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Mar 17, 2017 at 7:02 pm

Anyone know how the biker is doing?
Hope he's ok.
Can't figure out why people don't just slow down.


10 people like this
Posted by UniSouther
a resident of University South
on Mar 17, 2017 at 7:26 pm

A very bad incident, but perhaps inevitable given the racetrack driving style encouraged by the side-by-side lanes of one-way Homer. There is no reason, other than city hall inertia, to retain this dangerous traffic configuration.


19 people like this
Posted by Janice
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 17, 2017 at 8:03 pm

Generally speaking, there has to be more traffic enforcement in downtown Palo Alto. Drivers seem to be getting more careless and/or aggressive by the day, and since we encourage biking in this town (thankfully!) ,there is a very vulnerable target in the streets.


19 people like this
Posted by Anneke
a resident of Professorville
on Mar 17, 2017 at 8:37 pm

Honestly, all I am interested in is the condition of this unfortunate cyclist. Here is a person trying to maintain or improve his/her health, and five thugs (I do not like using this word) have changed his life forever. Please give updates on the condition of the victim. What can we do to help him and his family?


7 people like this
Posted by let me guess
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 17, 2017 at 9:50 pm

"Police are still investigating the incident and the suspects' reasons for fleeing. Police said they had found no weapons in the car. The suspects, all adults, had no major warrants out for them, Villaescusa said. The car was not reported stolen."
Perhaps the driver [portion removed] lacked a valid driver's license? Alternatively, perhaps they committed an earlier crime for which they were not apprehended (hence, no warrant) but feared they might be. Will be interesting to learn more.


7 people like this
Posted by john_alderman
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 17, 2017 at 10:07 pm

john_alderman is a registered user.

What's the background on Homer and Channing being one way?

I drive them several times a week, and cycle them periodically, and the one way configuration seems to invite speeding, and some confusion. I see someone driving the wrong way on those streets about once every other week (which means it probably happens every day).


6 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 17, 2017 at 11:15 pm

[Post removed.]


30 people like this
Posted by parent
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 18, 2017 at 12:14 am

Best wishes to the victim


6 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Mar 18, 2017 at 1:25 am

Still no PAPD press release. Some info on their Twitter page, not much in real-time that would have given citizens any heads-up, but maybe the police have learned that the general public is often on the side of the offenders. Petrified young women cowering in a shed, hunted down with dogs. Way politically incorrect, even before considering racial issues that will be blamed for precipitating this entire episode.

For real-time info, listening in on police frequencies is more illuminating, with unvarnished descriptions of who they are after. Hearing extensive sirens is impetus to switch on a receiver. Helicopter references can be followed on Flightradar24, the anti-aircraft noise people's favorite site. No mention of drone technologies today, but we can see that coming.


4 people like this
Posted by Chuck
a resident of College Terrace
on Mar 18, 2017 at 8:27 am

[Post removed.]


13 people like this
Posted by Anneke
a resident of Professorville
on Mar 18, 2017 at 8:53 am

Firstly, my thoughts go out to the woman cyclist who was injured so badly. How can I find out who she is and in which hospital she is, so I can bring some flowers?

Secondly, kudos to the police, Kodiak, and the close cooperation among several police units. Great and persistent job.

Thirdly, when I read about a case like this, I always wonder about the young culprits and how they developed into this kind of person. They were innocent babies once. At what point in their lives did they develop their brazenness to rob and possibly commit other crimes?


43 people like this
Posted by Ray
a resident of Professorville
on Mar 18, 2017 at 8:56 am

I wonder why there is so much negative commentary about the police! I thought it was excellent police work on behalf of area police organizations, helicopters, and police dogs. Considering the terrible results to the cyclist, I would think there would be more sympathy for her as well as kudos to the police.

As for the one-way street patterns for Homer and Channing, I recall several years ago when the city debated making a change to two-way streets as most of them are in the area, two organizations lobbied against the change,Channing House because older drivers are used to the one-way system (I am an older driver and cyclist as well and don't understand the thinking) and Whole Foods because their suppliers park on Homer and two-way traffic would be blocked. There is an alley next to Whole Foods. Their concerns aside, one of the local newspapers reported that, at the time, no one on the City Council knew why the streets were made one-way. Or why there is a traffic light at Waverley and Channing. The whole thing . . . "It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma."


13 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 18, 2017 at 8:56 am

I agree with Anneke about how sad it is to see young people, born as innocent little babies like every little baby, turn to crime. It seems that the two women were sisters, possibly twins. Very sad to see how they have turned out.

As far as the victim, according to TV news last night she is going to make it but no details can be given out for patient confidentiality reasons.


8 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Mar 18, 2017 at 11:31 am

"born as innocent little babies like every little baby" -- religions have debated that for ages.


15 people like this
Posted by Gnar
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Mar 18, 2017 at 3:18 pm

UniSouther and Janice... leave it to Palo Altans to take a news story about a police chase and turn it into complaining about how there's too much traffic.

Seriously, this entitled NIMBYism makes me embarrassed to own here and tell people where I live.


11 people like this
Posted by UniSouthert
a resident of University South
on Mar 18, 2017 at 3:52 pm

"UniSouther and Janice... leave it to Palo Altans to take a news story about a police chase and turn it into complaining about how there's too much traffic."

Understood. You are not for safe streets. You are entitled to your opinion. But can you find some way to express it that doesn't involve trying to insult your fellow residents?

"Seriously, this entitled NIMBYism makes me embarrassed to own here and tell people where I live."

That problem has a very simple solution.


19 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Mar 18, 2017 at 4:10 pm

I've been waiting for someone to connect Prop 13, or the naming of our middle schools.


30 people like this
Posted by Proud of Our Cops
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 18, 2017 at 6:09 pm

I am very proud of PAPD, who, with the help of their police dog, caught the offenders so quickly!

I , for one, am very tired of hearing people disrespect them.


54 people like this
Posted by Bill
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Mar 18, 2017 at 6:16 pm

The cyclist is a friend of mine. Her family, husband and children are obviously reeling right now. I will pass on the well wishes.

She does have multiple injuries, and I think she is lucky to be alive. She was conscious last night in the ICU.


4 people like this
Posted by Losing on our youth
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Mar 18, 2017 at 8:01 pm

[Post removed.]


32 people like this
Posted by serious stuff
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 18, 2017 at 9:12 pm

This is serious stuff: felony hit and run. I don't see this as an occasion for joking or irreverent talk.
First, support and sympathy to the bicyclist victim.
Second, the alleged criminals should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
One-way traffic and etc. has nothing to do with injuring someone with a vehicle and fleeing and hiding.
Thanks to Palo Alto Police for pursuing these criminals.


8 people like this
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Mar 18, 2017 at 9:20 pm

The reckless, dangerous events yesterday have changed the lives of a good number of people. My condolences to the cyclist, and best wishes for her recovery.


4 people like this
Posted by UniSouther
a resident of University South
on Mar 18, 2017 at 10:20 pm

" One-way traffic and etc. has nothing to do with injuring someone with a vehicle and fleeing and hiding."

I posted about Homer's unusual and dangerous traffic pattern when the narrative was a simple hit and run. We had not been told the offender was fleeing from a traffic stop.

Moreover, my comments are much more germane now that we know the offending car was fleeing against traffic on Homer. A car driving against oncoming traffic is always a dangerous situation, driving against oncoming traffic in a panic is much worse, and it almost certainly contributed to this mishap. That aggravating circumstance would not exist on a normal street.

Therefore I gently request that you refrain from gratuitous sanctimony, at least regarding this misfortune. It isn't constructive.


6 people like this
Posted by PAmom
a resident of Mayfield
on Mar 18, 2017 at 11:31 pm

Stupid stupid stupid idiots. Don't mess with this town if you've hit a biker.

And on the side note, there is one officer in charge of press and social media and if he has the weekend off that means you'll hear about it on Monday so everyone chill. They have the suspects and hopefully the cyclist is ok.


6 people like this
Posted by Well done, Kodiak and PADP
a resident of another community
on Mar 19, 2017 at 2:03 pm

"Officers may have missed them if Kodiak hadn't sniffed them out and started barking.

Give Kodiak a steak for a job well done.


@ Anneke, who wrote: "At what point in their lives did they develop their brazenness to rob and possibly commit other crimes?"

Sociopaths = made that way
Psychopaths = born that way

Some sociopaths have psychopathic tendencies and some psychopaths have sociopathic tendencies.


4 people like this
Posted by Zanon
a resident of Esther Clark Park
on Mar 19, 2017 at 7:20 pm

Thank you for including pictures of the criminals.


4 people like this
Posted by Very_Sad
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 19, 2017 at 10:38 pm

Weren't these folks supposed to be in prison for crashing into Apple store! It is sad to see them start their young lives with such crazy repeat acts of violence and stupidity. Where do they go from here! They are so young. Most likely they go to prison and then get out harming more people including themselves, and repeat! How can they find job with this background! Someone needs to talk with them. As Trump would say, "very sad, very sad"!


11 people like this
Posted by Longtime Palo Altan
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 19, 2017 at 11:35 pm

Thank you, Palo Alto police officers!


4 people like this
Posted by AllYouCanEat
a resident of Mountain View
on Mar 20, 2017 at 3:14 am

[Post removed.]


14 people like this
Posted by BTG
a resident of Fairmeadow School
on Mar 20, 2017 at 6:34 am

These out of town Thugs probably drove in to Palo Alto to commit other crimes. Hope they don't get off too easy. Good Job PD.


3 people like this
Posted by Chip
a resident of Professorville
on Mar 20, 2017 at 11:57 am

If I recall correctly, Homer & Channing were made one-way streets to facilitate entry & exit from the PA Clinic, as it was called at the time. The parking lot was between Homer & Channing, along the Waverley side of the block. Traffic backed up badly, with cars making left turns into the lot from 2 lane streets.
That reason is no longer applicable.


7 people like this
Posted by SuperD
a resident of Community Center
on Mar 20, 2017 at 12:08 pm

Thanks to the regional law enforcement for their work in capturing the riff raff. Unfortunately an innocent person was severely injured by these criminals. I hope the judicial system punishes them to the full extent of the law.


1 person likes this
Posted by roxanne reeves
a resident of Palo Verde
on Mar 20, 2017 at 2:44 pm

It's disconcerting that many residents were allowed to walk around and near the cordoned off areas - in my case it was two hours after the 3:30 hit and run and prior to their apprehension. It was obvious there was something going on, helicopters overhead, police cars, caution tape...so I asked permission to walk to Whole Foods where I learned of the accident. On my way home (past several police) I casually walked past the corner near where this article indicates
the shed was located. The officers I spoke with at that intersection were kind and courteous and didn't seemed too concerned that there were suspects lose in the area. Either they didn't know, or they were being very low key about the whole thing. Seems they could be informed and free enough to advise passersby in situations like this...


Like this comment
Posted by Well done, Kodiak and PADP
a resident of another community
on Mar 20, 2017 at 7:23 pm

@Very_Sad wrote:

"It is sad to see them start their young lives with such crazy repeat acts of violence and stupidity ... Someone needs to talk with them."

Ever try to reason with a bully or a con artist? They're never sorry for the offenses they commit. They are sorry to get caught. They are aware; they just don't care. You cannot reason with a psychopath or a sociopath.


Like this comment
Posted by Big Steve
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 21, 2017 at 10:37 pm

@roxanne reeves:

I imagine the officers were being low key with you. I can't imagine all of those police officers and cars out there and them NOT knowing why they are there. That seems like common sense to me.

I walked by the area too, and they told me they were after some people who fled from a hit and run car and were probably hiding in the surrounded area. They told me to call 911 if I saw anything suspicious. The officers made me feel safe because they had guns and seemed to be focused on the task at hand. I actually feel bad now that I interrupted the officers with my *not so real problem* especially knowing that someone was seriously injured. :(


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