Police calls: Road rage in Menlo Park


This information is based on reports from the Menlo Park Police Department and the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office. Under the law, people charged with offenses are considered innocent unless convicted. Police received the reports on the dates shown.


Assault with deadly weapon: Police arrested a Sunnyvale man on charges of assault and driving under the influence in connection with an incident of road rage at University Drive and Menlo Avenue. The Sunnyvale man was driving a Nissan Xterra SUV and allegedly came up behind a Fiat 500, a subcompact car, and rammed it after the Fiat driver had taken a cellphone photo of the SUV. The SUV driver then allegedly parked his vehicle and attacked a witness who observed the altercation. He was arrested without incident, police said. The charges include endangering child passengers (in the Fiat). July 23.

Residential burglary: A resident of Carlton Avenue found a bedroom window with its lock broken and its screen installed backwards, but no evidence of anything missing from his bedroom. July 15.

Auto burglaries:

■ Someone stole a bag for a laptop computer, receipts, a work badge, phone chargers, pens and pencils from a vehicle parked on Hamilton Avenue and found with a smashed window. Estimated losses: $97. July 21.

■ Four vehicles parked in the 1300 block of El Camino Real were found with windows smashed and items stolen, including a purse and clothing. No estimate on losses. July 18.

■ Someone broke a passenger window of a vehicle parked on Madera Avenue and stole items from inside. No estimate on losses. July 21.

Theft: Two scooters were stolen from the porch of a home in the 1400 block of Willow Road. Estimated loss: $100. July 23.

Cruelty to animals: Police cited a Palo Alto woman on animal cruelty charges, alleging that she left two long-haired golden retrievers alone in her vehicle for 30 minutes without water and with the windows cracked while parked in the 500 block of El Camino Real. July 17.

Vandalism: Someone knocked over a plastic portable bathroom located in front of a home on Bay Laurel Drive. July 18.


■ A resident told police that she has been receiving phone calls from someone claiming to be a sergeant in the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office and telling her that he had a warrant for her arrest in connection with not serving on a grand jury. She was given a choice of paying a fine – by buying a prepaid debit card at a drugstore in the amount of $263 – or being arrested, and that a judge would refund her money if she kept her receipts. The resident informed police, thinking that the caller might be attempting to scam her. No losses. July 20.

■ A resident of Sharon Park Drive told police he'd been sending money to "different companies through mailers he receives on a daily basis," and in exchange he was supposed to be receiving thousands of dollars through the mail. July 18.

Traffic accidents:

■ A man on a scooter traveling east on Willow Road on the wrong side of the street in backed-up traffic collided with a westbound vehicle making a left turn from Willow onto Gilbert Avenue. Medics took the man on the scooter to a hospital for evaluation and treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. July 23.

■ A bicyclist headed north on Middlefield Road attempted an illegal left turn at Linfield Drive and collided with a Toyota Sienna minivan, also northbound, that was unable to stop in time. The cyclist "had bumps and bruises" and was taken to a hospital for evaluation. July 20.

■ A cyclist headed west on Willow Road collided with a westbound Volkswagen Passat as the Volkswagen was turning right at Nash Avenue. After the collision, the cyclist slid and collided with a tree and was taken to a hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. July 21.


Commercial burglary: Someone entered an unlocked shed in the 17000 block of Skyline Boulevard and stole 20 T-shirts from a locked closet. A surveillance camera captured images of a man walking through a property, but not of him entering the shed. Estimated loss: $500. July 14.

Theft: Residents at an Olive Hill Lane address reported theft of mail while they were away, and a credit line opened in their name and used for $8,000 in purchases around the Bay Area. July 11.

Assault and battery: One person allegedly spitting on the vehicle of another brought a deputy to Woodside Town Hall for a conversation with both parties. The incident is being forwarded to the District Attorney's Office. July 14.


B Commercial burglary:== The owner of a business on La Cuesta Drive told deputies that he was unable to unlock the front door of his business and that the lock appeared to be damaged. No losses. July 15.

Dave Boyce

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6 people like this
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jul 28, 2015 at 12:34 pm

Can we get more timely reporting of these incidents.
Many of these items are more than a week old...

11 people like this
Posted by Misrepresentation in wording that suggests a passive 'accident' rather than careless driving
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Jul 28, 2015 at 3:27 pm

Instead of saying:

A cyclist headed west on Willow Road collided with a westbound Volkswagen Passat as the Volkswagen was turning right at Nash Avenue. After the collision, the cyclist slid and collided with a tree and was taken to a hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. July 21.

I suspect it SHOULD read:

A westbound Volkswagen Passat made an unsafe right turn at Nash Avenue after failing to merge into the bike lane and failing to observe the bicyclist already in the lane. The cyclist was seriously injured after being hit by the allegedly negligently driven automobile and thrown into a tree. The cyclist was transported to the hospital for treatment.

Anybody else see the difference?

12 people like this
Posted by Downtowner
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jul 28, 2015 at 5:55 pm

How do you know the motorist "made an unsafe right turn?" Did you witness the event? You are assuming that the cyclist was performing with perfect attention to his/her surroundings. We don't know the precise scenario unless you happened to video it.

I have seen enough inattentive drivers & careless cyclists to know that speculation is often wrong. I witnessed a recent mishap to an unobservant cyclist who, with his head down not watching the road, pedaled full speed into a parked car. He escaped with only a broken wrist because the attentive car drivers in the lane next to him anticipated exactly what was going to happen & stopped completely before he was thrown into auto lane in front of them. Definitely would have been serious If not fatal.

Stop blaming motorists every time a cyclist is injured - or post your video.

2 people like this
Posted by The voice
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jul 28, 2015 at 5:59 pm

The reports not done so who really knows what happened. This is not the ny times and half the stories are to boost circulation in my opinion

2 people like this
Posted by Sherman
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Jul 28, 2015 at 6:30 pm

If you need daily updates on MP police calls you can check the MP police blotter.

The bicyclist was wrong-- car was bigger and won. Winning is always right.

6 people like this
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jul 28, 2015 at 6:40 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.


sorry, the cyclist wasn't "wrong." The cyclist was in the right, but due to their lack of mass, they "lost." Bikes usually lose even when cars are wrong.

3 people like this
Posted by Misrepresentation in wording that suggests a passive 'accident' rather than careless driving
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Jul 28, 2015 at 9:50 pm


My point is that in the very words used to describe the situation, the motorist must be at fault. s/he turned RIGHT and there was an accident with a bicyclist. There is only a main and bike lane at that location. In order to turn right, the car must CROSS the bike lane. It is never allowed to turn across a lane (bike or otherwise) without first yielding to any other vehicle (bike or car) and merging into the rightmost lane (bike lane or ordinary traffic lane) before turning right.

Given this, and the injured cyclicst, it is nearly inconceivable that the motorist failed to yield and/or merge prior to turning. For bonus accountability, it is most likely that the car passed the cyclist before making this maneuver and should have been aware of the cyclist exercising his/her right of way in the bike lane.

Unfortunately, I rarely observe car drivers (including members of my family) merging properly into the bike lane first.

For everyone's reference, I point you to CVC 21717

Turning Across Bicycle Lane

21717. Whenever it is necessary for the driver of a motor vehicle to cross a bicycle lane that is adjacent to his lane of travel to make a turn, the driver shall drive the motor vehicle into the bicycle lane prior to making the turn and shall make the turn pursuant to Section 22100.
Added Ch. 751, Stats. 1976. Effective January 1, 1977.
Web Link

You can also see it illustrated here:
Web Link

Please learn and share. BTW, if you knew this already, congratulations. Ask a few friends. You may be as shocked as I was when I started asking recently. My unscientific survey suggested that the majority of folks to not know this.

6 people like this
Posted by Evelyn Winnegar
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jul 29, 2015 at 12:21 am

I have a very easy observation that I see every single day. Bicyclists do NOT stop for stop signs on streets, city or rural. There is no reason for acting like a complete scofflaw --in fact many of them speed up for this maneuver and I just pray to God that I never strike one or witness it happening. In the above incident, it certainly appears that the vehicle driver did not yield for the cyclist, but without viewing the incident report, none of us knows this.

2 people like this
Posted by Tunbridge Wells
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Jul 29, 2015 at 12:25 pm

Tunbridge Wells is a registered user.

Misrepresentation is absolutely correct that a driver is supposed to be as close to the curb as possible before turning right. This requires safely merging into the bike lane before turning. A collision between a person on a bike and a person driving making a right turn very strongly suggests that the driver either turned from the travel lane (incorrect) or merged into the person riding the bike (again, driver error).

I think that we can have the conversation about how drivers are supposed to turn right with out bringing up the totally unrelated subject of stop signs. There is no stop sign on Willow at Nash; it is an attempt to derail the conversation.

4 people like this
Posted by Careful
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Jul 29, 2015 at 3:29 pm

I have seen members of the spandex set exhibit signs of road rage after I, careful driver fully aware of applicable code, merge safely into the bike lane while signaling for a right turn. This enrages cyclists who must lower their speed slightly while I complete the turn. Cyclists who ignore the law and try to pass on the right do so at their own peril.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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