Man charged with vandalizing vehicles, making racial threats | May 1, 2019 | Almanac | Almanac Online |

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News - May 1, 2019

Man charged with vandalizing vehicles, making racial threats

by Kate Bradshaw

A man who allegedly vandalized cars, shouted racial epithets at multiple people and threatened and resisted police officers on Bohannon Drive in Menlo Park April 23 pleaded not guilty April 24 to charges of three felonies and one misdemeanor tied to criminal threats, vandalism and resisting arrest.

According to the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office, Cole Hoffman, a 34-year-old from San Diego, was allegedly vandalizing vehicles parked on the 4500 to 4700 block of Bohannon Drive, which is a business area.

A man came outside while the vandalism was occurring and allegedly saw Hoffman damage his car by kicking the fender, causing about $3,000 in damage.

The observer, who is African-American, then confronted Hoffman, who allegedly threatened to "slice and stab" him, hurled numerous racial epithets at him and yelled out "White power."

According to prosecutors, the observer then left the scene and called police. Officers arrived and found that Hoffman had damaged 10 separate vehicles by breaking windows, damaging windshield wipers and kicking dents in cars, they said.

Police chased and found Hoffman, who was allegedly screaming racial epithets at an African-American security guard and to others in the area, and yelling "White f---king pride."

According to the District Attorney's Office, officers struggled to control him and placed him in the "WRAP," a full-body restraining device. Hoffman also allegedly told an officer that he planned to slit the throats of everyone with the same name as the officer, and that he was going to make sure the "good ole boys" come to Menlo Park and shoot the officers.

He was appointed a private defender and, following his plea Wednesday, has a preliminary hearing set on May 7 at 2 p.m.

He remains in custody on $200,000 bail.

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