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


Subject :

Police Arrest Man for Using Stun Gun to Rob Taxi Driver
Contact : James Reifschneider, Sergeant, Police Department    650-329-2413
Palo Alto, CA – Police arrested a parolee overnight after he refused to pay a fare to his cab driver, then discharged a stun gun at him.  The victim was not injured.

On Thursday, June 30, 2016, at about 3:05 a.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received a call from a taxi driver reporting that a man had not paid him for a ride after they stopped on El Camino Real at Military Way.  The victim, a man in his thirties, said the suspect was now actively discharging a stun gun at him while the driver had locked himself in the cab for protection. Officers arrived a short time later, detained the suspect without incident in the 3900 block of El Camino Real, and found a stun gun in his possession.

The investigation revealed that the victim had picked up the suspect in San Jose in his 2009 Ford Crown Victoria taxi cab and driven him to Palo Alto.  When they reached the man's destination, the suspect got out of the cab and made no attempt to pay the fare.  When the victim got out and demanded payment, the suspect pulled the stun gun out of his pocket and began discharging it at the victim.  The stun gun did not shoot probes like a TASER, but rather had arcing electricity at its tip.  The victim ran back to his cab, locked himself inside, and called 9-1-1.  The suspect stood at his window, continuing to discharge the stun gun while the call connected.  The suspect then walked away southbound on the sidewalk.  The victim was not injured and was never touched by the electricity.

Police determined the suspect, 27-year-old Amir Sakaev of San Jose, was not only on active parole for criminal threats, but was also on active probation for vandalism and violation of a court order.  Police booked him into the Santa Clara County Main Jail for armed robbery (a felony), being a felon in possession of a stun gun (a misdemeanor), and a probation violation (a misdemeanor).  His booking photo 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