Mountain View Voice

News - May 4, 2012

Crime Briefs

Suicide or burglary?

What initially appeared to be a grisly suicide attempt is more likely the result of a burglary gone terribly wrong, police said.

At 11:37 p.m. on May 1, police came to the aid of a man bleeding from the wrist on Junction Avenue. Officers found the man lying on the ground, unresponsive and "bleeding profusely from a laceration on his wrist," according to Liz Wylie, public information officer for the Mountain View Police Department.

Medics took the man to a local hospital and placed him on a mental health hold, Wylie said. Meanwhile, officers discovered a trail of blood leading from the spot where the man was found to the nearby La Bamba restaurant, located at 580 N. Rengstorff Ave., about 100 yards to the east.

A window of the restaurant had been broken and blood was found inside, Wylie said. Officers also found a screwdriver lying next to a damaged cash register.

Wylie said police now believe that the bleeding man -- who was on probation for a prior burglary -- cut himself while breaking into La Bamba and attempted to pry open the cash register before giving up and fleeing the restaurant and collapsing -- presumably from blood loss.

Police have yet to interview the man and cannot release his name until he has been arrested. "We notified the hospital to let us know when the man will be released, so that we can arrest him for burglary and probation violation," Wylie said.

Off-road DUI

After a few too many drinks, police alleged that a Sunnyvale man decided to do a little off-road driving early Tuesday morning.

At 3:19 a.m., May 1, police received a call from Edward Lechuga, who reported that his truck was stuck on the train tracks near Evelyn Avenue and Pioneer Way — on a portion of rail approximately 800 feet northwest of where Whisman Road crosses the tracks. Officers arrived to find Lechuga standing just outside his truck, "which was in the center portion of the tracks, partially stuck on the northbound track," according to Liz Wylie, spokeswoman for the Mountain View Police Department,

"Lechuga was intoxicated," Wylie said. He told police that he was driving from Sunnyvale and did not remember where he had initially entered into the fenced-off area of the railway. He was arrested on charges of driving under the influence.

Caltrain workers had to cut a portion of fencing and remove a fence pole in order to get the truck off the tracks, Wylie said. No one was hurt and there was no apparent property damage.

Trains were delayed while the truck was lodged on the tracks, said Christine Dunn of Caltrain. Trains were able to run by using the southbound tracks, but were a behind schedule as of 5 a.m., Dunn said.

Home invasion robbery

Two Mountain View men received a frightening wake-up call early Thursday, April 26, when a man with a gun entered their bedroom and demanded cash, police said. No one was hurt in the incident.

The victims — who share a room in an apartment in the 2200 block of Rock Street — reported the crime at 4:35 a.m. on April 26. The men told officers that they awoke at about 3:30 a.m. to find the robber standing in the middle of their bedroom, pointing a black revolver at the two of them, said Liz Wylie, a spokeswoman with the Mountain View Police Department.

The gunman reportedly told the men to give him money. After the two men handed over a cell phone (valued at about $70) and all the money in their wallets (less than $200), the gunman walked out of the apartment, Wylie said. When the two victims were certain the robber was gone, they woke up their other roommates — three men who were sleeping in other rooms — and talked about the incident before reporting it to police, Wylie wrote in an email to the Voice.

The men told police the robber was illuminated by a TV that was on, Wylie said. They described him as a Hispanic man, about 20 years old, short and of medium build, wearing a black jacket and dark blue jeans.

"We are not sure of the motive of this case and it is actively being investigated," according to Wylie. "But this does not appear to be a random attack at all. These two victims appear to have been chosen or targeted for some reason."

Police believe the gunman entered through the apartment's unlocked front door.

Bikes stolen

Two mountain bikes valued at more than $5,000 were reported stolen from the third floor balcony of an apartment complex located at 555 W. Middlefield Road, according to police.

The theft occurred sometime over the weekend while the victim was away on vacation, Mountain View police spokeswoman Liz Wylie said. The 42-year-old man who lives on the third-floor returned home April 29 and discovered that the two bikes — a Specialized Enduro and a Klein Q Carbon — were gone, according to Wylie. He reported the theft at 7:30 p.m.

The door to the apartment and the sliding glass door to the balcony were both locked when he returned home and there was no sign of forced entry,Wylie said.

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