News

Police arrest transient for alleged attack with a skateboard downtown

Pedestrian suffers minor injuries to face, abdomen

Palo Alto police have arrested a transient man who is accused of attacking a pedestrian on University Avenue late Wednesday morning using a skateboard.

The pedestrian, who reported the incident to the police shortly after it happened around 11:40 a.m., was heading west in the 500 block of University Avenue near Joe & the Juice when the man approached him and allegedly punched him in the face and hit him in the abdomen with a skateboard, according to a press release issued Thursday.

The man "yelled nonsensically" during the encounter, according to police, and also allegedly threw a rock at the person before walking away.

Officers found the suspect inside a nearby business and arrested him without incident. The 38-year-old man, who has no permanent city of residence, was booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail on suspicion of two felonies: assault with a deadly weapon and criminal threats.

The victim, who is in his 20s, suffered minor injuries to his face and abdomen, police said. He didn't know the arrested man.

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

Editor's note: The Weekly's policy is to withhold the names of those arrested for most crimes until the District Attorney has determined there is sufficient evidence to file charges in the case. See our guidelines here.

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Comments

11 people like this
Posted by eileen
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 11, 2019 at 1:21 pm

eileen is a registered user.

>>>The 38-year-old man, who has no permanent city of residence.
Does that mean he is homeless? Maybe he has severe mental issues.
Was he on massive amounts of drugs? Scary just walking down the street these days...
Can we get more info?


8 people like this
Posted by A Regular Occurrence Nowadays In PA
a resident of University South
on Jul 11, 2019 at 2:09 pm

Palo Alto seems to be encountering an increasing number of miscellaneous street crimes lately.

Curious what the possible explanation might be.


30 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 11, 2019 at 2:51 pm

Posted by eileen, a resident of College Terrace

>> >The 38-year-old man, who has no permanent city of residence.
>> Does that mean he is homeless? Maybe he has severe mental issues.
>> Was he on massive amounts of drugs? Scary just walking down the street these days...
>> Can we get more info?

Posted by A Regular Occurrence Nowadays In PA, a resident of University South

>> Palo Alto seems to be encountering an increasing number of miscellaneous street crimes lately.

>> Curious what the possible explanation might be.

Since this persons acts don't "profit" him in any way, we assume that the acts are "crazy". Are you asking for a single, simple explanation?

Poverty, criminality, substance abuse, and mental illness frequently go together. Social programs that require these to be completely separate issues will never succeed at dealing with the most difficult cases. The California State Hospital system of the previous millennium had many flaws, but, it had one very important virtue-- the patients/inmates could be varying degrees of poor/petty criminals/substance abusers/mentally ill, and, get a bed in a ward in a state hospital, get three meals a day, some vitamins, a little encouragement, and start to heal. Our insistence that these are all completely separate problems has caused a larger increase in cost in the criminal justice system than the money saved on the hospitals, and, it doesn't work as well.

"De-institutionalisation" is a contentious issue. The two major viewpoints Web Link are, "deinstitutionalisation was a move in the wrong direction" and, "it was an unsuccessful move in the right direction". In either case, what we have now is not working, -and-, is very expensive.


21 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 11, 2019 at 2:54 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

..Curious what the possible explanation might be...

Palo Alto now has a huge target painted on its back. It has become a magnet for criminals, the homeless and the mentally disturbed. The massive urbanization has created this tragedy, and with so much commercial and housing development in the pipeline, you aint seen nothin' yet as they say. Those who have been pushing so hard for urbanization have inflicted on the general population its rewards:urban blight, unbridled.


63 people like this
Posted by Donald
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 11, 2019 at 3:03 pm

[Post removed.]


11 people like this
Posted by Is PA Keeping The Problem In Check?
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 11, 2019 at 3:22 pm

"Palo Alto now has a huge target painted on its back. It has become a magnet for criminals, the homeless and the mentally disturbed. The massive urbanization has created this tragedy, and with so much commercial and housing development in the pipeline, you aint seen nothin' yet as they say. Those who have been pushing so hard for urbanization have inflicted on the general population its rewards:urban blight, unbridled."

^^^Valid points but in terms of grungy homeless street scenes, Palo Alto in no way resembles the 2nd Street/St. James Park area of San Jose or Ocean Street in Santa Cruz.

People aren't sleeping in the entrances of downtown stores at night & we don't see 50-60 people per day pushing shopping carts along University Avenue...yet.

These are common San Jose/Santa Cruz urban street scenes and pretty much the norm each & every day. Palo Alto hasn't sunken that low...yet.

I suspect that PA's suburban, upscale 'vibe' & setting prevents this visual blight from escalating even further as the aforementioned locales are larger cities & county seats where the population is naturally denser.


21 people like this
Posted by immigration status?
a resident of El Carmelo School
on Jul 11, 2019 at 3:31 pm

[Post removed.]


52 people like this
Posted by Donald
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 11, 2019 at 3:59 pm

[Post removed.]


7 people like this
Posted by Scared
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 11, 2019 at 4:21 pm

Once I was driving my car slowly in downtown Palo Alto and a guy decided to attack it! A police woman happened to be right there and immediately handled this scary event. Thank you, Palo Alto Police Dept.
what I wonder about is the criminal transient problem, see: police blotter, at our downtown Caltrain station. I don’t see this at other stations. Why do transients get attracted to Palo Alto? This is not desirable.


78 people like this
Posted by immigration status?
a resident of El Carmelo School
on Jul 11, 2019 at 4:50 pm

[Post removed.]


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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