A parolee who allegedly threatened a grocery store employee and challenged police officers to a fight led authorities on a foot chase before his arrest near Palo Alto High School on Wednesday, police said.
At 12:48 p.m., police responded to a reported in-progress disturbance at the Whole Foods Market at 774 Emerson St., according to a police press release. The man allegedly threatened a market employee in his 30s with bodily harm. He threw a punch at the employee but missed. It's not known why he targeted the employee, who didn't know him, police said.
Police located the man walking at High Street and Channing Avenue eight minutes later. He immediately adopted a fighting stance and called on the officers to challenge him when police stopped him for questioning. He fled as police attempted to verbally de-escalate the situation and other officers began to arrive.
Police chased him for several blocks as he ran south on Alma Street and west on Embarcadero Road. He hopped fences into and out of the Palo Alto Unified School District's vehicle facility on Churchill Avenue. Police finally surrounded him on the bike path behind Palo Alto High School and took him into custody without incident. Neither police nor the suspect were injured during the foot chase or the arrest, according to the press release.
The man, a 32-year-old Mountain View resident, was booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail on suspicion of felony criminal threats, misdemeanor assault, and resisting arrest, which is a misdemeanor. He is on parole for a prior conviction of assault with a deadly weapon. Police also booked him for a parole violation, which is a felony, after contacting the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
Anyone with information about Wednesday's incident is asked to call the Palo Alto Police Department's 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be e-mailed to [email protected] or sent by text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984.
Editor's note: Palo Alto Online'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. Read our guidelines.