Homeowner helps lead police to chase suspect

August 30, 2012 5:38:01 PM PDT
A driver talking on his cellphone led police on a chase and frightened a quiet Palo Alto neighborhood Thursday.

The chase started around 12:30 p.m. The suspect was talking on his phone, blocking traffic at the busy intersection of University and Bryant in downtown Palo Alto.

When police tried to pull him over, he accelerated, crashing into six other cars. After that, he started running and ended up in a quiet neighborhood about five blocks away.

During the police chase, the suspect attempted to carjack a passing driver. That driver fought back, and as the police chased the suspect on foot, he gave up on the attempted carjacking and started hopping the fences of nearby homes.

Police secured a perimeter at Hawthorne Avenue and Waverly Street. After a roughly three-hour manhunt, police located the suspect hiding in the basement of a home on the 200 block of Waverly.

The owner of the home said he found out about the manhunt surrounding his home while he was at work when he received a phone call from his nanny.

"My nanny had seen that somebody was in our backyard and called my wife and I to come over and check it out, so we checked out the surveillance and we saw him on the videotape, and we were able to figure out exactly where he was," homeowner Alex Chew said.

The suspect was taken into custody and is receiving medical treatment at a local hospital, Lt. Zach Perron of the Palo Alto Police Department said. The suspect is being treated for puncture wounds to his arm from a police K-9.

The car that the suspect crashed then abandoned at the busy Palo Alto intersection turned out to be a rental car with stolen items inside. The items are believed to be from a commercial burglary or robbery.

Authorities are still working to identify the suspect. Perron said the suspect will likely be charged with resisting arrest and attempted car jacking.

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