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Police say Palo Alto man assaulted two people in hate crime, injured police dog

Palo Alto police arrested a 26-year-old man following an assault on two people on a downtown street early Sunday.

Alexander Joseph Furrier, of Palo Alto, was booked into county jail on suspicion of three felonies — battery, a hate crime and assaulting a police dog — and a misdemeanor for resisting arrest.

Police responded to a 1:32 a.m. report of two men fighting near the downtown intersection of University Avenue and Waverly Street, according to a news release issued Tuesday by the Palo Alto Police Department.

Upon arrival, officers found two victims and the suspect, Furrier, who immediately fled on foot.

While officers gave chase, other emergency responders provided aid to the victims, a woman in her 20s and a man in his 60s who had earlier lost consciousness temporarily.

Officers pursued Furrier to an apartment complex in the 400 block of Everett Avenue, where he was hiding in a second-floor stairwell. Despite attempts to negotiate Furrier’s surrender, he declined and officers used their dog to take Furrier into custody.

Palo Alto Police Department Alexander Joseph Furrier, 26, of Palo Alto, Calif., was arrested in connection with a homophobic hate crime assault and injury to a police dog while resisting arrest on Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021 (Courtesy of Palo Alto Police Department)

Furrier tried to fight the dog and sustained multiple lacerations to his lower leg. The dog received a cut above one eye.

After brief treatment at a local hospital, Furrier was booked into Santa Clara County main jail.

Police allege that Furrier assaulted the woman and man after they had left a house party with another man, both of whom the woman had identified as being gay. Furrier, an acquaintance of the woman, followed the trio and began calling the men homophobic epithets.

Police said the two men parted company with the woman as they approached University Avenue at Waverly Street, but that Furrier stayed with her and said made rude comments despite her requests to leave her alone.

One of the men returned to help the woman and asked Furrier to leave her alone, according to police.

Police said that’s when Furrier attacked the man, punching him several times as he continued to call him homophobic epithets, and then proceeded to assault the woman, picking her up and throwing her to the ground. It was about then that officers arrived on the scene.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the 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.

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