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Woodside road rage leads to pepper spraying and arrest

Original post made on Aug 15, 2007

In the right hands, a can of pepper spray can come in handy.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, August 15, 2007, 12:00 AM

Comments (13)

Posted by Christine Dowd, a resident of Woodside: Mountain Home Road
on Aug 15, 2007 at 10:04 am

This incident occured right across the street from me. I see more and more aggression, especially from groups of bikers, on Mounyain Home Road. One biker slammed the back of my car a few weeks ago after cutting me off. Cars speed down Mountain Home Road and God help you If you happen to find yourself in front of one and going the speed limit. I have lived in Woodside for twelve years. I must say people seem to be getting more impatient. Of course, there are more people in general and they tend to overtake our small town roads on weekends. This community is unique in that it is a horse community and rural in nature. These very aspects of Woodside and Portola Valley are what has attracted so many people to these towns in the first place. It's very sad.


Posted by j, a resident of Portola Valley: other
on Aug 15, 2007 at 11:46 am

It wasn't a very good idea for the victim to stop for a third time especially in a rural area. There is no police station around but he should have driven to a more populated area. Keep driving.


Posted by WhyNot, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Aug 15, 2007 at 9:35 pm

I am not surprised at this kind of road rage. Drivers today are totally insane. Somehow getting behind the wheel of a car turns people into idiotic monsters. What I find incredible is that the pedestrians refused to call 911. I can understand not stepping into the middle of an argument, but calling 911 seems like the least any responsible person could do.


Posted by murphstahoe, a resident of another community
on Aug 16, 2007 at 3:10 pm

why am i not surprised the first comment in response to this managed to blame the cyclists... for some 21 year old redneck punching out the window of an acura...


Posted by Anon, a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Aug 17, 2007 at 1:01 am

We don't know the circumstances, ie how long the acura was clogging up the road for, ignoring the traffic behind him to let him pass.

tharp could have avoied it by pulling over immediately when seeing the lifted truck behind him, or apologizing when he got out

we dont know what his attitude was.

in fact, by looking at the story, i felt that burleson was in the right [portion removed by Almanac staff].


Posted by Another anon, a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Aug 18, 2007 at 12:39 am

Seems like Lt. Jones felt Burleson was the culprit. I think I might get some pepper spray for myself, it might come in handy.


Posted by WhyNot, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Aug 18, 2007 at 5:14 pm

Tailgating, kicking someeone's car, pushing someone around are all illegal. I don't care how slowly the Acura driver was going, it does not justify this aggression. Burleson should have his driving privileges revoked. We don't need maniacs like this on our roads.


Posted by anon, a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Aug 19, 2007 at 10:33 am

personally i feel that not yielding for a faster car coming from behind warrants jail time.


Posted by Bob, a resident of Woodside: Woodside Heights
on Aug 20, 2007 at 10:14 am

Keep in mind that the driver in front DID pull over, so if the problem was being unable to pass it would have been solved. Plus, he was on Sand Hill then Mountain Home Road. That means we're talking about AT MOST 1-2 miles of 2 lane road, large chunks of which are legal passing zones, so again if the problem was a slow driver then passing would have been pretty easy. Plus, isn't the speed limit on Mountain Home 25 anyway?

This was NOT a case of being stuck behind a slow driver for miles and miles of narrow mountain roads where you can't pass. If someone can't handle being behind a slower car from Sand Hill Road to Roberts without getting violent, they're the ones with the problem.


Posted by anon, a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Aug 22, 2007 at 12:57 am

keep in mind that the guy was in a lifted truck and thus was very manly. When you see a guy that manly, you should respect him or else trouble will occur.


Posted by Ann, a resident of another community
on Aug 22, 2007 at 7:50 am

Don't feed the troll -- please.


Posted by Bert Tinckley, a resident of Atherton: Lloyden Park
on Oct 29, 2007 at 3:12 pm

I believe the wrong man was arrested in this situation and the police overreacted based on ageist opinions.  mr burlson was in the wrong for getting out of his car and loosing his cool, but  mr tarp.  im sure the woodside sheriffs deputy's would have acted different if the pepper spay victim wasn't wearing the backwards hat and had a barking pitbull in the back of the truck(wich was pepper spayed as well)  this nerd was waiting for the day he could pull out his bottle pepper spray out of his FANNY PACK and use it on a juvenile. i truly hope mr burlson has or will take legal action on the woodside sheriffs department and or mr tarp.


Posted by Anne, a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Jul 1, 2009 at 6:06 pm

Driving is just another vehicle (ha, no pun intended) for people's anti-social behavior. Everyone has to share the road whether we like it or not, and having some people act like complete morons and/or psychos is not helpful. When I hear things like this, it's just more proof that humankind is doomed.


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