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Chief’s Community Update

October 16, 2019


This weekly update will include information about the recent efforts of the police department and provide you with information regarding recent incidents, crime trends, and community resource information.  Please take a moment to search our website and take advantage of the features.


Recent Events: 


Major injury traffic collision!


On Tuesday, October 8, 2019 at 6:43pm a single-vehicle collision occurred near the intersection of Capitol Avenue and Scofield street.  The car was occupied by a group of four teenagers including the driver and it appears the driver was unable to control the vehicle and struck a Light pole.  At this point, it appears that none of the occupants were wearing seatbelts, but the front seat airbags deployed.  Two of the passengers were unconscious and listed in critical condition, one passenger was listed in serious condition but conscious and the 17-year-old driver fled the scene leaving their injured friends in the car. 


I was attending the Council special session related to the mobility study but left and responded to the scene of the collision.  I took command of the incident and worked with the officers investigating the case.  We had very little information about the driver but thanks to some good investigative work, we identified the driver and began searching for them not only for the purpose of holding them accountable but to ensure they were not suffering from injuries related to the collision.  Within a few hours, we were informed that the injured teenage passengers had regain consciousness and all three had their conditions upgrade to more favorable outcomes. 


We were unable to locate the driver that evening but we are currently searching for them.  Because the driver is a juvenile, I am unable to supply information regarding their identity.



March for justice!


On Sunday, October 13th, 2019 at approximately 11:30 am, a large group of concerned citizens marched from Saint Francis Church to the Police Department.  This was related to the Shooting and Double-Homicide that occurred approximately one-year ago on October 14th, 2018 at a party being held in a parking lot in the rear of 2520 Pulgas.  Representatives from the Police Department, Office of the District Attorney, and the non-profit group Mothers Against Murder were in attendance.  The hope is that more of the individuals that were at the party or have information about the case will come forward and provide information.  Working together, we will have a much better chance of collecting all the facts and getting the killer into custody.  Hopefully, arresting the suspect will provide some degree of closure for the families. If you have any information regarding the incident, please contact Detective Veronica Barries at (650) 853-7248 or you can email her at .


Crime and Arrests:   


10/07/19                      10:45AM                    2300 Block Oakwood Avenue

Officers responded to the 2300 Block of Oakwood Avenue after a caller reported a disturbance involving a male subject in a verbal argument with a resident. Officers located 23-year-old Kevin Mendoza in front of the residence and confirmed his identity. A Records check revealed Mr. Mendoza had an outstanding Felony warrant issued for his arrest by the San Francisco Police Department. Mr. Mendoza was transported to the San Mateo County Jail in Redwood City where he was booked for the warrant. Mr. Mendoza was also booked on charges related to a Domestic Violence incident which occurred earlier this year in East Palo Alto.


10/11/19                      7:47AM                      Unit Block Newell Road 

Officers responded to an apartment on Newell Road after a man reported being assaulted by his live-in girlfriend. The officers were told by the victim that while showering, his girlfriend, later identified as Klaressa Ortiz, attempted to take his marijuana from his jeans. The victim attempted to stop Ms. Ortiz and the two struggled for the jeans. During the struggle, Ms. Ortiz choked the victim and scratched his neck. Ms. Ortis denied assaulting the victim. Ms. Ortiz was arrested and transported to the San Mateo County Jail in Redwood City where she was booked. 

10/11/19                      2:47PM                       1700 Block of East Bayshore Road 

Officers responded to the Home Depot on the report of a shoplifter being detained by Loss Prevention Officers. Arriving officers took custody of the suspect and identified him as 41-year-old Samuel Gutierrez of Newark, CA. Home Depot staff explained that Mr. Gutierrez was observed leaving the store with a power-saw which he placed inside his vehicle. After placing the saw in his vehicle, Mr. Gutierrez returned to the store where he had placed another Power Saw by a cash register and was detained by staff. Home Depot staff members completed Citizen’s Arrest paperwork and requested Mr. Gutierrez be prosecuted for theft. Mr. Gutierrez was issued a misdemeanor Citation with a court date and released from the scene. All items were recovered by Home Depot staff. 


10/13/19                      5:49PM                                   1700 Block East Bayshore Road

Officers were flagged down by multiple patrons in front of the Taco Bell Restaurant located in The Ravenswood Shopping Center. The officers were told that a subject inside the restaurant was causing a disturbance. At that time, 54-year-old East Palo Alto resident Kirk Ford exited the restaurant and was identified by patrons as the subject causing the disturbance. The officers attempted to contact Mr. Ford to determine what had happened and Mr. Ford fled from Officers on a bicycle but after a brief pursuit, he was detained. The officers contacted Taco Bell Staff who advised Mr. Ford had come into the restaurant and asked for a 40 cent Burrito and no such product exists. Staff refused to provide the item and Mr. Ford became angry and verbally combative with staff. While yelling at staff, Mr. Ford produced a pocketknife and attempted to stab an employee. Mr. Ford was transported to the San Mateo County Jail where he was booked.    



The October 2019 Beat Meeting Schedule is as follows: 

Beat Two

Date: Thursday, October 3, 2019

Time: 06:30 pm – 8:00pm

Location: Ecumenical Hunger Program

(2411 Pulgas Avenue, EPA, CA 94303)

Beat Three

Date: Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Time: 06:30 pm – 08:00 pm

Location: Peninsula Park Apartments

(1977 Tate Street, EPA, CA 94303)


Beat One & Beat Four

Date: Thursday, October 17, 2019

Time: 06:00 pm – 07:00 pm

Location: Cabana at Woodland Park Apts.

(45 Newell Road, EPA, CA 94303)


How to make an anonymous tip to the police:

When providing information to the police, we need specific information about the crime or criminal.  As an example, if you are reporting someone for dealing drugs, we need to know where and when they are selling the drugs, a detailed description of them (white female, blue jeans, red jacket, baseball cap), any description of a vehicle, and any other information you have about the crime.  While I don’t expect you to jeopardize your safety to get this information it is very important for us if we make an arrest.  Not only will your tip provide us with accurate information about the suspect, we are able to serve as a witness to the crime and we can testify in court.  Please use these options for providing an anonymous tip.


You can make an anonymous tip to the police by calling or texting to (650) 409-6792.



Crime Trends:


Theft from cars and homes: Cases of suspects entering cars and residence through unlocked windows or doors when the owners are absent are increasing.  The suspects often search through the car or residence and take small items of value (cash, jewelry, electronic devices) that are easy to sell.  Please lock your car and residence when you leave.  If you want to leave a window ajar for ventilation, it is recommended that you use a locking device to prevent access.  If you notice anyone suspicious loitering in the area, please call us at (650) 321-1112 or 9-1-1 in case of emergency.