Town Square

Parking dispute leads to fisticuffs

Original post made on Jan 30, 2013

A man punched a woman in the face after she slapped him inside a Mountain View supermarket on Monday afternoon, police said. The confrontation allegedly stemmed from a dispute over the way the man parked his car.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, January 30, 2013, 11:25 AM


Posted by McGruff, a resident of Castro City
on Jan 30, 2013 at 1:11 pm

Lots or cameras in stores and hopefully the parking lot. We'll get to the bottom of this.

Posted by Getem, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jan 30, 2013 at 1:37 pm

Oh to have sweet justice levied on those who cannot park their cars properly :)

Posted by Jeff, a resident of another community
on Jan 30, 2013 at 2:27 pm

The man shouldn't have hit her. He should have taken a picture of her and called the police. Let her deal with assault charges rather than commit assault.

Posted by Chris, a resident of Willowgate
on Jan 30, 2013 at 2:30 pm

What on earth. First off don't ever strike anyone it is not a valid defense. Instead walk away, if still provoked take your pepper spray out and do your worst. I feel for this lady this guy must be high on something and would explain his erratic parking and behavior. What a jerk. We men need to stand up for people in altercations. All it takes is asking is everything alright?

Posted by Steve, a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jan 30, 2013 at 2:33 pm

He should have stuck around and pressed charges. But then he probably would have been arrested, even though she was the aggressor.

Posted by Not so fast, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jan 30, 2013 at 2:40 pm

How do we know she was the aggressor? Striking first can be done in self defense and it not a violation of law when done so.
The cameras will show if he began to rush her and she defended herself.

Posted by Yah But, a resident of Whisman Station
on Jan 30, 2013 at 2:42 pm

I guess, whatever the scenario, whoever was to blame, I'll be glad if they get caught and punished. Society will win.

Posted by Gwen, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 30, 2013 at 3:13 pm

Just the other day I was at Pet Smart in Mountain View, where a woman just pulled up, right in front of the store, left her teenage son in the her SUV, put on the emergency blinkers and went inside.

As I pulled in to the parking lot, I saw no less than three cars nearly collided because her car was blocking the throughway, where there are NO PARKING SPACES. Seeing this infuriated me. I waited outside to see who would come out to this vehicle, and here she came, a full 5 minutes after I arrived. As she loaded her medium sized bag of dog food into the back of her car, I asked her "What makes you so privileged that you can create your own parking spot anywhere you want?" She held up the bag of dog food. I said "Big deal, get a cart and park just like everyone else. Do you realize that by leaving your vehicle illegally parked you nearly caused three accidents?" She said (snarkely, but I don't care); "Thank you for sharing that with me" and got in her car and drove away.

Our society is full of self-indulgent people who have no regard for others, as well as a population that is so afraid of offending anyone by telling these people that they are rude. Some people are just jerks, and if more people told them what jerks they were, perhaps some of them just might think twice before taking up extra parking, or parking unsafe.

However, when you choose to step out on this limb, be sure to keep in mind to use your words, not your fists. The Lucky's incident should have ended in the parking lot.

If the woman felt 'threatened' inside the store (if that was truly the case) then she should have started yelling for help at the top of her lungs! If the man was the initial aggressor inside the store, I guarantee he would have backed off if she started yelling for help. She should NEVER have resorted to physical violence, but she did, and it escalated the situation. He didn't handle it any better. Neither of them had the right to resort to physical violence, and they both should be held accountable for their actions.

The security cameras will sort it all out for the police, but in the end they both have to accept responsibility for escalation of physical violence inside the store.

Oh, and if the woman in the SUV at Pet Smart is a MV Voice reader, I hope she recognizes herself in this story and thinks twice before creating a dangerous situation for other motorists (or the sone she left in the car) because she is too lazy to legally park!

Posted by Yah But Again, a resident of The Crossings
on Jan 30, 2013 at 3:20 pm

Well, since we're all speculating, here's yet another way it could have gone down:
She said something inside the store, he snapped and lunged at her, she reacted with the self defense reflex of trying to fight off the attack right before she got popped.
Its soooooo easy to say we should NEVER act with easy to say that behind a computer.

Posted by Mary, a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Jan 30, 2013 at 4:24 pm

And yet another example of the norm of male "privilege" at its worst ie in the form of violence against women.
After all, who is she to challenge his parking skills or confront him about any of his behaviors. Violence as a solution is the male priority.
A woman would most likely snear and say something rude in response to such a challenge but not choose violence.

It is WRONG to take the view that this is an extraordinary event in the sense of being rare or unsual. Or that this 6' white male punching a woman in the face means that he is odd or demented vav other males of his description. HE'S THE NORM.

Just check the FBI stats on male violences on women. Go ahead I dare you.

Posted by h-bomb, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jan 30, 2013 at 4:49 pm

I'm not defending the guy or anything, but sometimes you just gotta let stuff roll. 3 p.m. on a weekday should mean plenty of available spots.

Posted by Exactly, a resident of Cuernavaca
on Jan 30, 2013 at 6:58 pm

H-Bomb has it right. I don't think I've seen that parking lot anywhere near 50% full in the past 15 years. Who cares that one car is out of alignment (unless it's crossing over into a handicapped spot).

Posted by Pfff, a resident of Cuernavaca
on Jan 30, 2013 at 11:16 pm

Just park a shopping cart in front or back of their vehicle and move on. If they inconvenienced you and you got some time, then inconvenience them a little too.

Posted by Sometimes nothing works, a resident of another community
on Jan 31, 2013 at 12:13 am

Some years ago, I was getting in my car outside the (now-demolished) Burger King in San Antonio Shopping Center. The people next to me were finishing up eating in their car, and they simply threw their trash out their car window.

I called them on this, and quickly got a bottle of liquor thrown at me. Fortunately, I had just closed my car door, and the glass bottle shattered against the side of my car as the litterers drove away.

So sometimes just saying something can be hazardous to your health. I suppose I could have gotten a license plate number or something, but realistically, I suspect no action would have been taken by the police, and if the police had followed up, I wonder how much more jeopardy I would have been in had I testified against them in court.

It's very frustrating, but I don't see any good, safe course of action against such shameless antisocial jerks.

Posted by suzy, a resident of Shoreline West
on Jan 31, 2013 at 8:23 am

That's a big parking lot and she had to park near the guy that didn't know how to park and still confront AND slap him in the store?
Who's the crazy one here? That's just looking for trouble.

Posted by The Norm?, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jan 31, 2013 at 8:55 am

I think Mary missed the part that said the woman slapped him first. I'm not defending the guy as I think he should not have reacted the way he did. But Mary's post makes me almost want to defend him.

Violence against women is NOT the norm for "males".

About 15 years ago, I was waiting for parking behind a car directly in front of me. The driver did not move into the open space. I waited and waited. I actually began timing how long I was waiting. A full minute passed since I began timing, so I thought the driver might be waiting for someone and I slowly went around and parked in the open space. By the time I was out of my car, she was running toward me screaming vulgarities. I was taken aback. I explained to her that I thought she was waiting for someone since the space had been open for some time. She chest bumped me and continued screaming, so I told her that she should lay off the bottle as she reeked of alcohol. I walked away, while she continued screaming at the top of her lungs.

If Mary had a bad experience, I'm sorry for that. But to call male violence against women the norm is not correct. The FBI stats do not indicate that.

Posted by MIke, a resident of another community
on Jan 31, 2013 at 9:03 am

The true story.

As the parties involved were getting their carts the woman made the statement, "Did you really mean to park like that? Take two spaces?" He replied " F@#K YOU BIT#H"

She entered the store and started her shopping. He used the BofA ATM. As documented on CCTV. Several minutes later he came down the cereal aisle as she was coming up the aisle. At that point he said to her "You got a Fu^%ing problem with the way I drive?" She told him not to speak to her that manner. He then took his grocery cart and shoved her against the cereal boxes and came toward her in a threating manner. She told him to get away from her. He said "Fu%k you you fat Cu#t" and he came at her again with a raised hand in a threatening manner.

She slapped him in the face and yelled at him to get away from her. At that point he doubled up his fist and gave her a left hook striking her in the left side of the mouth. She has a large cut to her inside upper lip and loosened a tooth. Her eye is red and her jaw is black and blue.

He being the coward he is fled the scene. Several customers witnessed the incident as they made comment to the store checkers, however NO ONE came forward to assist or give statments to Police.

Store employees did not come to any assistance during the attack. They did however offer her ice for her bleeding lip. In fact the woman had to call Police from her cell phone.

The woman is my wife.

Posted by Member, a resident of another community
on Jan 31, 2013 at 9:07 am

Clearly some important details were left out of the story. This happened to my mother and I want to set the record straight.

@Suzy - She was getting out of her war when the man parked moments later – sideways across two spots almost hitting her passenger side door of her car. That's what started the confrontation.

@H-Bomb, you're absolutely right – there were plenty of spots available, why he chose to park there, no one knows.

Words were spoken and they both walked off towards the store. They each went into two different directions. HE sought her out, rammed his cart into her multiple times – pushing her against the isle - while throwing terrible insults towards her. She DID yell for him to get away from her. There were people in the isle that saw what happened; however, chose not to come to her aid. He lunged towards her with his fist raised and she slapped him IN SELF DEFENSE.

She was cornered by the carts and couldn't run anywhere – that and she has a broken foot. That's when he doubled up his fist and punched her. After the incident, he ran out of the store and she followed to try and get his license plate number, but by the time she made it outside, he was pulling out of the driveway. No woman deserves to be punched by a man. He's more than 20 years older than she, and about 1' taller. Wouldn't be surprised if he's done this before – especially since he did this in broad daylight in public. I hope MVPD finds this guy!!

Posted by Torch, a resident of Jackson Park
on Jan 31, 2013 at 12:33 pm

Wow. We really really really need to catch this coward.

Posted by Old Ben, a resident of Shoreline West
on Jan 31, 2013 at 12:43 pm

The real disgrace is that everybody else just stood around and did nothing. I thought that nonsense went out with the Kitty Genovese murder.

I hope that guy gets what is coming to him.

Posted by Parent, a resident of another community
on Jan 31, 2013 at 1:36 pm

Shame on those Lucky's employees who did nothing to help! They should have been on the phone at the first sign of trouble. I won't be shopping there.

Posted by Real Life, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jan 31, 2013 at 3:26 pm

Its easy to say everyone should have jumped in. The reality of situations like this is that they happen and escalate quickly where most people are just watching, in sort of shock, wondering what's happening. Then it peaks and is over in the blink of an eye, leaving most every normal person standing flat footed, trying to process what just happened. As described above by family, this could have all gone down in the store in about 6 or 7 seconds
If you were not there, don't be so all knowing that you decide who is to blame other than the perp.

Posted by Steve, a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jan 31, 2013 at 3:54 pm

Thank you, Mike, for more thorough reporting on this story. 'The Voice' could probably use you full time.

Posted by Janet L, a resident of Rex Manor
on Jan 31, 2013 at 4:30 pm

Once at Trader Joe's a man yelled at me for not using my blinkers in the parking lot. "That's why they're there," he said. When I said "on my bicycle?" he realized his mistake.

No apology from him, though. He just grumbled about how bicycling is dangerous and walked away. Some people are just jerks. At least he didn't hit me.

Posted by pfff, a resident of Cuernavaca
on Jan 31, 2013 at 10:18 pm

Now I know more facts - I agree with Old Ben and Parent - it is a disgrace that no one, especially store employees, took the time to snap out of their selfish fog to even notice this situation was happening. The witness from the snack aisle, if he reads this, still has a chance to show some honor and come forward with a statement. I too will think twice about going to this Lucky's - even just to avoid ever meeting that deranged lunatic who slammed his car into two spots then stalked and assaulted that lady in the store. Was he on drugs or what? Did he buy anything or did he just leave? To the victim - so sorry you had to go through this. There are decent people living in this community who care, unfortunately none of them were at (un)Lucky's that day.

Posted by scaryworld, a resident of another community
on Jan 31, 2013 at 10:47 pm

I hope they can get to the bottom of all this. Roll the tapes! I'm a bit confused. The story started out with the man being in his 30s and then later the victim's daughter says the man was more than 20 years older than her mother. If the reporting is true, the man's actions are deplorable! This world is getting too scary...too full of jerks.

Posted by Steve, a resident of Shoreline West
on Feb 1, 2013 at 11:18 am

"He lunged towards her with his fist raised "

That's funny, @Mike (the woman's husband), didn't mention that.

"At that point he doubled up his fist and gave her a left hook striking her in the left side of the mouth"

Impossible. A left hook lands on the right side.

Posted by Pfff, a resident of Cuernavaca
on Feb 1, 2013 at 12:18 pm

Steve is channeling Atticus Finch! Maybe it was a right hook or not a punch at all but some sort of a crude slam to her face. Roll the tapes and let's find the mysterious lunatic before he really loses his marbles somewhere in our midst.

Posted by Steve, a resident of Jackson Park
on Feb 1, 2013 at 1:52 pm

Dang! Sounds like some spoiled brat didn't get his Lucky Charms this morning. The way he parked and responded to her, it appears he had anger issues from something already bugging him and was taking it out on the world. That's no excuse to be an aggressive baby about it, but then some people never grow up. I hope this one gets his spanking.

For the record and in defense of store employees, often store's instruct workers to do nothing but call for the police or local security, for fear of making a bad thing worse. There was even a bank teller in the news not long ago who was fired for physically stopping a bank robber, the argument being that a customer could have been injured in the apprehension process and the bank sued.

It's a fine line we walk these days, thanks to excessive litigation.


Posted by Mary, a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Feb 1, 2013 at 3:52 pm

Isn't it interesting how many male comments here automatically accepted that the woman was the aggressor and/or diminished/excused this scumbags violence?

My question: What is the gender of the person who wrote the coverage for online distribution. It says it was posted by "the editor" who is a male.

Boys club rule #1: boys stick together and cover up each other's violence or other arenas of mis-behavior. Eg Penn State, Rape epidemic in the military, etc etc etc.
Boys club #1 rule of thumb: Any B*tch who dares to confromt a male deserves whatever she gets.

I know there are good guys out there but they are no longer in the majority is what is true. Time for pretense claiming otherwise to STOP.

Posted by Andrea Gemmet, Mountain View Voice Editor
on Feb 1, 2013 at 4:31 pm

Andrea Gemmet is a registered user.

@Mary: the reporter is male, the editor (me) is female.

Posted by Educated, a resident of Whisman Station
on Feb 1, 2013 at 4:31 pm

Mary, shows us all that sexism goes both ways.

Posted by Educated, a resident of Whisman Station
on Feb 1, 2013 at 4:33 pm

Oh, and she also illuminates how ignorant sexism and stereotyping is.

Posted by Wendy, a resident of another community
on Feb 4, 2013 at 1:35 pm

It's very interesting that she felt the need to talk to him. Why did she not avoid him? When he became aggressive, why did she not walk away? It takes two to have a fight and sadly, I have witnessed many of these ugly skirmishes around town in the last months. People need to calm down.

Posted by wendy, a resident of another community
on Feb 4, 2013 at 1:38 pm

Wanted to add after reading the comments. I witnessed a female accost a male driver in a parking lot not too far from this Lucky's. He tried to explain to her rationally what why he did what he did and she just kept on going hurling racist remarks at him and yelling at him to go back home. We intervened and I think that made them both move on.

Posted by AC, a resident of another community
on Feb 4, 2013 at 2:42 pm

AC is a registered user.

I'll admit, I haven't thoroughly read all the comments yet; but I felt like I had to chime in on the "who is the aggressor" and "who started it" and "if you weren't there, don't judge people for not getting involved" part.

Still, I hope what I have to type is of some value, relevence, or provokes some thought.

With regard to the sexism thing.....

I'm male. And even if I were confronted by the craziest woman in the world, I was taught that you're not ever ever ever supposed to hit a woman like you would hit a man. If she's a danger, and fight-or-flight instincts tell you to fight... immobilize her and turn her in to authorities. You do not, ever, ever, ever punch a woman the way you'd punch a man. My dad said that if you wanted to be treated like man, you have to act like one.

I may be sexist for believing that; but I'll accept being judged for that.

With the "who is the aggressor" thing.....

Fight-or-flight is still a very valid and primal instinct. If you don't want to fight, then flee. This guy threw a punch then fled. If the woman were truly the aggressor, he could have fled before it got physical in the first place. This kind of negates the "but she started it" thing. Even if she did, he could have avoided it; and if he couldn't avoid it, then see the above.

I realize that I'm old fashioned like that, and I'm over 40 and grew up in different times... but as a kid I never got badly punished for fighting in self-defence if I could prove it; and if I used only as much force as necessary to run away. Responding to an insult with a baseball bat was never condoned as self-defense. So responding to a slap with a full-on punch... again, no defense.

And lastly, regarding "don't judge people for not getting involved".....

Ideally, one shouldn't judge at all. We get that. But once that is acknowledged, I'd wish to share a point. Courses to combat bullying (obviously a real social issue, and not just in schools) teach us that the role of bystanders is very important. You don't have to get into fisticuffs to defend a person who is being bullied. Your disapproval ultimately has more impact on someone's behaviour than "getting into" it. A firmly yelled "What just happened here, because this is what I saw and heard" is an appropriate intervention. "Mind your own damn business" doesn't mean you have to be in denial of what just happened right in front of your face.

If one thinks "intervention" means being the hero, blocking the door, and having all this courage and macheesmo to neutralize the evil attacker, I'd suggest we watch too many movies. Discouraging bullying can be as simple as calling a spade a spade. Again, growing up, my parents yelling "What have you done?" gave me plenty of pause.

Just some thoughts. Please forgive the rambling.

Posted by scaryworld, a resident of another community
on Feb 4, 2013 at 9:37 pm

According to American Heritage Dictionary, to intervene is to enter a course of events so as to hinder or change it. In some instances it requires actual physical intervention to prevent bodily harm or catastrophe. I can see your point but sometimes words are not enough. I don't think I watch too many movies.

Posted by Steve, a resident of Sylvan Park
on Feb 5, 2013 at 2:37 pm

Can we still call a spade a spade? Or is that frowned upon in this establishment?