PALO ALTO, Calif. (KRON) — A man arrested at the Stanford Shopping Center on Thursday is accused of battering two transit employees and attempting to carjack an occupied vehicle, the Palo Alto Police Department said in a press release. The suspect was identified as Joshua Downs, 26, who has no listed residence.
PAPD was first alerted of the incident at 4:48 p.m. A disturbance on a SamTrans bus was reported at Quarry Road and Arboretum Road. Police were told that the suspect battered the bus driver.
A police investigation revealed that Downs forced open the doors of an out-of-service bus that was occupied by a female driver. The woman asked him to leave multiple times. After he did get off, the driver got off too and flagged down a second bus driver for help, according to PAPD.
Police said the suspect spat in the face of the female driver and lunged at the other driver, who is a man. The male driver shoved the suspect away, and he fled the scene.
A PAPD officer saw Downs running onto the property of a local nursing home, Vi at Palo Alto, at 620 Sand Hill Road. Downs was detained without incident and handed the officer what is believed to be a meth pipe, per PAPD. He appeared to be under the influence of drugs.
As the officer moved toward Downs to handcuff him, he ran away, according to police. He attempted to open the passenger-side door of a blue 2011 BMW sedan which was stopped on Vineyard Lane at Sand Hill Road.
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The car was occupied by a woman in her 50s, and police said Downs got into the car with her. He grabbed the steering wheel but had nowhere to go and continued running, police said.
PAPD officers eventually caught up to the suspect in the parking lot of the Stanford Shopping Center near Nieman Marcus. He was taken into custody after a brief physical struggle, PAPD said.
None of the three victims were injured. Downs was taken to a hospital for a reported heart condition and was later booked into jail on a felony count of carjacking and six misdemeanors.