News Release News Release The City of Palo Alto
Communications Department
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301


Subject :

Officer Interrupts Violent Assault in Parking Lot, Arrests Suspect
Contact : Zach Perron, Lieutenant, Police Department    650-329-2413
Shane Patrick Collins booking photo
Palo Alto, CA -- An alert patrol officer interrupted a violent assault late Saturday night in a downtown parking lot, coming upon a suspect who had beaten a man to the ground with a cane and was kicking him in the head.  The officer arrested the suspect after a brief foot pursuit, and later booked the suspect for assault with a deadly weapon, robbery, resisting arrest, and a hate crime.  Two victims sustained minor physical injuries.

On Saturday, August 23, 2014, at about 11:58 p.m., an officer driving down the 400 block of Emerson Street heard a commotion coming from the back corner of City Parking Lot "A" at 431 Emerson Street.  When the officer went to investigate, he saw a bloodied victim (a man in his sixties) on the ground in the fetal position and a suspect standing over him, holding onto a stairwell with his hands and kicking the victim in his upper chest and head.  The officer saw that the suspect had blood on his hands and head as well.

The officer ordered the man to stop, at which the suspect turned and fled on foot into an alleyway adjacent to the parking lot.  The officer gave chase, catching the suspect quickly and safely taking him into custody in the alleyway without incident.

The ensuing investigation revealed that the first victim had been talking in the parking lot with a second victim, a man in his fifties.  The white suspect, who was previously unknown to both victims, approached them for no apparent reason and began repeatedly yelling racial epithets at the second victim, who is black.  The victims told the suspect to go away and to leave them alone.  The suspect then went to physically assault the second victim, who tried to defend himself by swinging his walking cane at the suspect.  The second victim fell to the ground, and the suspect got on top of him, took the cane away from him, and struck him at least once on the head with it.

The first victim, who is white, tried to escape by leaving down the alleyway, but the suspect chased him down and struck him on the back of the head with the cane.  When the victim turned around to defend himself, the suspect struck him again, actually breaking the cane on the victim's forehead.  The first victim fell to the ground, and the suspect began to punch and kick him.  This is when the officer arrived on scene and interrupted the assault.

The first victim sustained two cuts to his head as a result of being struck with the cane.  The second victim sustained one cut to his head.  The suspect also sustained a cut on his forehead from an unknown source.  Personnel from the Palo Alto Fire Department responded to the scene.  They treated and released both victims at the scene, and transported the suspect to a local hospital to obtain a medical clearance prior to incarceration.

Police booked 26-year-old Redwood City resident Shane Patrick Collins into the Santa Clara County Main Jail for two counts of felony assault with a deadly weapon, one count of felony robbery (for taking the second victim’s cane), and misdemeanor charges of resisting arrest and a hate crime.  A booking photo of the suspect is attached to this release.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call our 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413.  Anonymous tips can be e-mailed to or sent via text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984.  Tips can also be submitted anonymously through our free mobile app, downloadable at or