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Alleged road rager arrested after pulling gun

A 28-year-old man was cited for allegedly pulling out a handgun during a road rage incident near the Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto where a department store went under a brief lockdown Tuesday morning, police said.

Fremont resident Charles Christian Simbulan Blanco was cited on suspicion of brandishing a firearm and possession of a concealed firearm that wasn’t properly stowed in a car, police said.

Officers recovered the weapon, a .45-caliber Glock pistol, and loaded magazines that he legally possessed, according to police.

Around 10:40 a.m., the victim reported to police that he was driving with his wife on Embarcadero Road near Middlefield Road where the suspect allegedly made an unsafe lane change.

The situation escalated to road rage that lasted for multiple blocks before they reached Quarry and Arboretum roads, where Blanco allegedly aimed a firearm at the victim and made verbal threats, prompting him to call authorities, police said.

Responding officers found the suspect vehicle, a 2016 Honda Fit, empty in the parking lot outside the shopping center’s Nordstrom department store at 550 Sand Hill Road, police said.

Roughly 225 department store customers and employees stayed inside the store until about 11:45 a.m. as a precaution until officers told them the suspect wasn’t in the area, according to police.

It’s unclear if the suspect went inside the department store, police said.

While searching for Blanco, officers learned he worked as a transporter at Stanford Hospital, less than a mile away from the shopping center, and detained him without incident around 12:40 p.m., police said.

Officers went back to Blanco’s vehicle near Nordstrom where they found the unloaded pistol in the front door and took it as evidence, police said.

They also found loaded magazines for the firearm in the glove compartment, according to police.

Blanco was cited for the two alleged misdemeanor crimes and released at the scene, police said.

Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call police dispatch at (650) 329-2413. Those who wish to remain anonymous may send an email to or send a text message or voice mail to (650) 383-8984.

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