Two of the victim's fingers were bruised during the attempted robbery. The victim described the woman as an adult with dark black hair in a bun and about 5 feet, 4 inches tall. She had a medium complexion. The driver was a man with dark hair and a dark mustache.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the dispatch center at 650-383-8984.
— Sue Dremann
City settles with violent arrest victim
Palo Alto reached a settlement on Wednesday with Julio Arevalo, who suffered a facial bone fracture at the hands of a city police officer during an arrest outside Happy Donuts in July 2019.
The city agreed to pay $150,000 and Arevalo agreed to dismiss his suit against the city and release all claims against individuals involved. The city will not make any admissions of fault or liability, City Attorney Molly Stump said.
The full settlement agreement will be submitted for court approval in coming weeks.
Arevalo, who was 23 years old at the time of the incident, was arrested by former Agent Thomas DeStefano in front of the doughnut shop at 3916 El Camino Real. During the arrest, which was captured on surveillance video and on DeStefano's body camera, DeStefano asked Arevalo if he was on probation and then attempted to detain him.
Arevalo tried to walk away from DeStefano, who followed him, tried to pin his arm behind his back, flipped him to the ground and told him to "stop resisting."
Arevalo was later transported to a hospital to treat a fractured orbital socket, according to the police.
DeStefano, who left the department in September 2021, also alleged that Arevalo may have been involved in a drug transaction, though Arevalo was never charged and the video doesn't offer any evidence to substantiate that claim.
In November 2019, Arevalo filed a suit against the city for $3.85 million in damages, accusing the Police Department of violating his civil rights. The claim stated that he was violently attacked and "falsely arrested" by DeStefano, who then included information in his report that he knew was false.
— Gennady Sheyner
City looks to restore police, fire positions
After two years of attrition, the Palo Alto City Council is preparing to boost spending in the city's police and fire departments and restore positions cut during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The budgets for the city's three public safety departments are set to increase by 11% in the coming fiscal year, going from $80 million to $89.2 million. The number of positions would increase from 218 to 237. This includes 134 positions in the Police Department, 100 in the Fire Department and 2.5 in the Office of Emergency Services.
The Police Department plans to add more patrol officers and solidify its Psychiatric Emergency Response Team, which pairs an officer with a Santa Clara County behavioral health professional to address mental health crises. The team currently relies on a patrol officer to fill a position on the team, but the budget includes a dedicated position for the team.
City Manager Ed Shikada's proposed budget would add five authorized positions, a detective, a personnel training lieutenant, an officer to serve on the PERT team and two officers for a "special problems detail" focused on property crimes and homelessness.
In addition to the patrol positions, the budget also authorizes the department to hire a communication manager for the dispatch center, a technical services director and two dispatchers.
The Fire Department also will get a staffing boost this year, including five positions funded by a federal Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant. The new positions will allow the department to fully staff all of its stations on a 24/7 basis.
— Gennady Sheyner
This story contains 753 words.
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