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Police use ‘less-lethal projectiles’ on suspect who allegedly threatened to shoot officers

Police arrested a man in connection with acts of felony vandalism Friday at the Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto after he allegedly broke car windows and threatened repeatedly to shoot officers, prompting them to fire “less-lethal projectiles” to take him into custody.

Palo Alto police arrested 32-year-old Campbell resident — who turned out to be unarmed — on suspicion of two felonies for vandalism and two misdemeanors for obstructing a business and resisting arrest.

Officers responded to a 1:46 p.m. call from shopping center security regarding a man causing a disturbance by yelling at customers, threatening passersby and spitting on store windows.

Police said the suspect was uncooperative when they arrived and that shortly thereafter he ran into the parking lot, while officers observed his actions. Police said he used a metal bottle to shatter the rear windows of two unoccupied vehicles in the parking lot.

Police chased the man to an outdoor area of the Stanford Park Hotel at 100 El Camino Real in Menlo Park, where the suspect placed one hand into his jacket pocket, said he had a gun and threatened multiple times to shoot and kill the officers.

When the suspect climbed up on a nearby second-floor balcony, officers took cover and tried to de-escalate the situation. Negotiations were unsuccessful, police said, and officers began firing pepper ball rounds at the wall near the suspect in an effort to encourage him to surrender.

When that did not work, police said officers fired a “less-lethal projectile” that struck him in the hip. At this point, he promptly surrendered and he was taken into custody.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the 24-hour dispatch center of Palo Alto police at (650) 329-2413. Anonymous tips can be e-mailed to or sent via text message or voicemail to (650) 383-8984.

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