Menlo Park: Man found not guilty of assault on officer


A jury delivered a "not guilty" verdict in the case of a 65-year-old Menlo Park man charged with hitting a code enforcement officer with his pickup truck on purpose.

Jerry Jenkins was arrested July 9, 2014, for alleged assault with a deadly weapon. A code enforcement officer who had previously cited him for conducting illegal automobile repairs in his yard had gone to his Henderson Avenue residence late that afternoon to further document the activity, according to the District Attorney's Office.

During the ensuing discussion, Mr. Jenkins got into his 1966 Chevy pickup truck and as he was backing up, knocked the officer down. She was treated at Stanford Hospital for non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

In San Mateo County Superior Court on March 16, the jury found him not guilty of felony assault as well as misdemeanor assault. Represented by attorney Tom Kelley, Mr. Jenkins argued that he had not seen the officer and the incident was an accident.

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10 people like this
Posted by parent
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Mar 17, 2015 at 12:54 pm

In car-vs-pedestrian collisions, the car driver usually gets the benefit of the doubt from juries. Usually from the police, too, though this time they tried to prosecute because the victim was a cop.

6 people like this
Posted by Seeing this for what it is
a resident of another community
on Mar 17, 2015 at 6:15 pm

Has the Almanac inquired into how much this FRIVOLOUS prosecution by D.A. Steve Wagstaffe cost San Mateo County taxpayers? If not, why not?

I say FRIVOLOUS because as we all know, in law and order, conservative San Mateo County, if there was ANY evidence that someone tried to run over a police officer, there would be a conviction. Remember, this fellow is a senior citizen, and the cop wasn't even hurt. [Part removed. Please don't speculate on what happened.]

[Please don't use Town Square to accuse someone of misconduct.]

Seems to me Wagstaffe doesn't really understand who pays the bills, and whom he is supposed to protect and represent.

6 people like this
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Mar 17, 2015 at 6:58 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

"....whom he is supposed to protect and represent."

Oh, he understands. He protects and represents "those that matter." Those that matter aren't your average SMC citizens.

10 people like this
Posted by Romin
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Mar 20, 2015 at 8:13 am

Romin is a registered user.

The DA was right in trying to prosecute the person involved. We all don't know what happened that day. The code enforcement officer went to his property because of a violation, which is a repeat of a previous violation. Hence, the officer was at his property to do her job. Whether she was hit intentionally or accidentally, she did not deserve to be struck by a truck!

7 people like this
Posted by letstalk
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Mar 20, 2015 at 3:02 pm

letstalk is a registered user.


The code enforcement officer involved stands under 5 feet tall, which makes her virtually invisible when standing in front of or behind a vehicle and especially a pick up truck.

MPPD has a not so friendly relationship/history with the accused found to be not guilty.

(Maybe the PD used the opportunity to retaliate for previous incidents. It would be interesting to review the prior contacts as well as the outcomes.)


How come the PD charged so aggressively? Why was his word that it was an accident not good enough. The PD could have wrote the case and sent it to the DA's office for review. If the DA felt he/she had enough to make an arrest, well finding the gentlemen would have been easy-after all he has lived in MP longer then most of us have been alive. (P.S. they send cases to the DA for review all the time. Case in point-How long did it take them to arrest the owner and thief of the dry cleaners in the Willows? The MPPD wrote the case, sent it for review, and the DA told them they needed more. When they got more, then they made the arrest. Commander Bertini even accompanied the arresting officers to ensure the thief was arrested in a dignified manner. How many arrest has Bertini joined officers on?Maybe it had something to do with community chief of police hiring board?)

Does the MPPD make a habbit of handcuffing people involved in vehicle collisions? How many times are people hit by cars in MP and as a result placed in handcuffs? Maybe in this situation it had something to do with the incident occurring in the Bell Haven community?

A final note:

The gentlemen should sue the MPPD.

The MPPD practices community oriented policing in west Menlo, but on the east side they practice something outside of the above or their mission statement.

[Portion removed; don't make accusations of illegal behavior without evidence; please contact if you have evidence.]

People from both east and west Menlo need to come together and get educated on the practices of the MPPD. All economic groups deserve the same treatment and service.

6 people like this
Posted by Romin
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Mar 20, 2015 at 11:56 pm

Romin is a registered user.

To letstalk:

Even if the code enforcement officer was less than 5' tall, wouldn't it have been wise for Jerry Jenkins to have looked everywhere first before he backed up? He should NEVER be allowed to drive anymore then if he cannot see behind his truck. Can you imagine if you have a 3' tall child who is on his driveway? My God, wouldn't that be scary? Your statement of the officer being virtually invisible is ABSURD!!! In fact, all of your statements are ABSURD especially this one, "Maybe the PD used the opportunity to retaliate..." Where did you get that statement? I hope you don't ever have to call PD for anything. Your hatred is so evident!

Please get your facts straightened out first before writing or posting anything. Better yet, be more respectful of other people and our police department.

Comment sections are there for anyone to post intelligible comments and not rude or heartless ones.

6 people like this
Posted by Thoughtful
a resident of another community
on Mar 21, 2015 at 9:44 am

Thoughtful is a registered user.

Romin, actually I'm finding your comments a bit less logical than letstalk about this issue. For example, your first comment notes "We all don't know what happened that day" and the fact she may have been hit "accidentally", yet you insist the D.A. was "right in trying to prosecute the person involved."

The fact is, twelve San Mateo County citizens determined no wrongdoing was committed by Jerry Jenkins here. Their decision was unanimous (as it must be in a California criminal proceeding), and reached very quickly. Why won't you accept and respect the decision of this jury?

I am also concerned that the Menlo Park Police Department may not be respecting and accepting the decision of this jury. IF that's the case, I believe the chief should be removed. He cannot tolerate members of his department not respecting the results of a system he and they are part of.

Finally, you assert that Jenkins "should NEVER be allowed to drive anymore" even though the jury accepted his defense that he didn't see the officer behind the truck, who was under five feet tall. But this comment can cut both ways, right? Why didn't she see the truck backing up and move out of the way? I have to think if it was moving so fast she couldn't, she would have been hurt when it hit her. If she doesn't have the situational awareness, reflexes, and presence of mind to move out of the way in such a situation, perhaps she "should NEVER be allowed to be a police officer anymore"?

But I think both comments would be inappropriate, don't you?

Like this comment
Posted by Romin
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Mar 21, 2015 at 12:30 pm

Romin is a registered user.


You are entitled to your own opinion and so am I. I am off to Europe to enjoy time with the fambam. Enjoy your weekend, relax, and have fun!

Have a blessed day!

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