Atherton man charged in Jan. 31 shooting incident involving occupied vehicle | News | Almanac Online |


Atherton man charged in Jan. 31 shooting incident involving occupied vehicle


An Atherton man was charged with four counts of assault with a semi-automatic firearm and one count of discharging a weapon at a car during his arraignment on Tuesday, Feb. 4, in San Mateo County Superior Court, according to San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.

Chihhao Yang, 39, pleaded not guilty to the charges stemming from the Jan. 31 incident. Yang remains in custody on $100,000 bail, according to the District Attorney's Office.

The case was set for a preliminary hearing on April 2.

Yang allegedly fired at a car that carried his brother and three other people, including a 4-year-old child, on Spencer Lane in Atherton. No one in the car was injured, police said.

Officers from Menlo Park and Redwood City assisted Atherton police in surrounding the home, according to the press release. A shelter-in-place order was issued for over a dozen homes on and near Spencer Lane, which is off of Isabella Avenue and blocks away from El Camino Real.

A hostage negotiation team from Redwood City contacted the alleged shooter on his cellphone and persuaded him to surrender peacefully, police said.

Yang and his brother, who was one of the occupants of the car, have a long-standing feud and are never in the family residence at the same time, according to a report from the D.A.'s office.

The victims, including the brother, his wife and their young daughter, and the mother of Yang and his brother, were at the home to help the mother pack for a trip, according to the D.A.'s report.

The suspect came home unexpectedly and the mother told the others that they had to leave immediately, whereupon the suspect walked past them and went into a room and picked up a loaded hand gun.

The four victims ran to their car and started to drive away before Yang allegedly fired several gunshots at the moving car.

The bullets went into the passenger door and shattered the passenger window, the D.A.'s report said.

The victims then drove to the Atherton Police Department and reported the incident.

The suspect claimed he was only trying to scare his brother and was aiming at the tires.

Yang was arrested that evening with the help of a hostage negotiation team, according to Atherton police.


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8 people like this
Posted by English Teacher
a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge
on Feb 5, 2020 at 12:27 pm

Don't you just love 'misplaced modifiers'? "one count of discharging a weapon at a car during his arraignment..." You'd think there would be Sheriffs present to preclude a shooting during an arraignment. Hrrrummmpfff!

6 people like this
Posted by Ol’ Homeboy
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Feb 5, 2020 at 12:51 pm

Kudos to you, English Teacher. This kind of English faux pas is like finger nails on a chalk board.

Like this comment
Posted by pb
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 8, 2020 at 2:31 pm

I read it likewise Sch Teach.

Like this comment
Posted by pb
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 8, 2020 at 2:35 pm

Nothing like brotherly love. In A town for that matter!

Like this comment
Posted by Thank Goodness
a resident of another community
on Feb 9, 2020 at 7:18 am

Thank goodness he had his gun

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