Menlo Park: Man armed with machete, knife threatened Caltrans workers

Officer assaulted by another man during search for suspect

Bayfront Expressway in Menlo Park was shut down for more than an hour Wednesday afternoon (Oct. 2) after a man brandished a machete and knife at Caltrans road workers and threatened to kill them, according to Menlo Park police.

At 11:20 a.m., police responded to the area of Bayfront and University Avenue following a report that an armed man had threatened workers who were cleaning up trash on the side of the roadway, police said in a press release.

The man ran into the marshlands off Bayfront before police arrived. Officers set up a perimeter and began a search, and Menlo Park Fire Protection District personnel responded with their drone to look for the man but they were unable to find him.

While searching for the armed man, officers encountered a 33-year-old transient who was agitated and yelling, according to police. The man grabbed a large tree branch and swung it at an officer, striking him in the face.

The officer, who sustained non-life-threatening injuries, was able to grab the man and detain him. The man was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer and taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

Traffic in the area was diverted from about noon until shortly after 1 p.m.

The suspect in the incident with Caltrans workers is described as a Hispanic man who is 35 to 40 years old, 5 feet, 9 inches tall and 170 pounds. He is unshaven with short black hair, and he was wearing blue jeans, black work boots and a gray T-shirt with the word 'staff' in all-caps on the back.

Anyone with information on this case and/or who witnessed the initial incident is asked to call the Menlo Park Police Department at 650-330-6300 or the anonymous tip hotline at 650-330-6395.

Editor's note: It is The Almanac's policy to withhold the names of those arrested for most crimes until the District Attorney's Office has determined that there is sufficient evidence to file charges in the case.


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Like this comment
Posted by Hilarious
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Oct 2, 2019 at 8:18 pm

A mentally ill man swings a 'deadly' branch at an police officer and actually manages to hit him/her in the face.
Embarrassing lack of training and/or execution of procedures.

Clearly the MP PD has their hands full with these extremely violent crimes.
That explains that they don't have any time to actually investigate and charge the countless petty and property crimes committed in MP.


25 people like this
Posted by Martín
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Oct 2, 2019 at 8:31 pm

Thankful that the officer was not seriously injured, and that he was able to stop the attacker without the use of his weapon.

4 people like this
Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Oct 3, 2019 at 11:03 am

I agree with Martin. This situation could have gone much worse with an officer drawing their weapon and shooting the suspect. I think not using deadly force, even if it resulted in some minor injuries to the officer, was the way to go. This does not strike me as lack of training or failure to execute procedures at all, it strikes me as someone using common sense.

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

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