Victim in fatal stabbing was attacked with bicycle and patio chair | News | Mountain View Online |


Victim in fatal stabbing was attacked with bicycle and patio chair

Police reveal weapons used in attack outside Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday

Police revealed the weapons used in the violent stabbing attack that killed a 55-year-old man over the weekend: a bicycle and a patio chair.

The victim died of his injuries at the hospital a day after being attacked in downtown Mountain View on Nov. 4, according to police. As of Wednesday, his name had not been released, pending notification of his relatives, according to the Santa Clara County Medical Examiner and Coroner's office.

The suspect, identified by police as Jan Neal of Marin County, is being held in Santa Clara County jail without bail.

Although the victim was stabbed, he was not attacked with a knife, said police spokeswoman Katie Nelson. The suspect allegedly attacked the victim with a bike and one of the metal patio chairs in the courtyard, Nelson told the Voice on Wednesday.

The attack occurred around 6:30 p.m. in the courtyard in front of the the Center for Performing Arts at 500 Castro St., where a performance was in progress. Officers received reports of a fight, and said that the 43-year-old suspect was still attacking the victim when they arrived. The suspect refused to obey commands by police to stop, according to a statement by the Mountain View Police Department.

Witnesses told police they saw the suspect punch and kick the victim's head while he was unconscious on the ground, and that the suspect picked up a mountain bike over his head and slammed it against the victim's head and torso, according to a statement of facts released by the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office.

Witnesses, who later identified Neal as the aggressor, say he repeated this several times with a bicycle, a metal chair and a metal table, according to the documents.

When the first police officer arrived on the scene, a struggle ensued with the suspect, who allegedly tried to grab the officer's holster and handgun in an attempt to disarm him, the document said.

During the altercation with police, officers used a wooden baton and eventually a Taser in an attempt to control the suspect, but they were ineffective, police said. The statement of facts reported that Neal, after being struck by a baton and while the Taser's current was still running, seemed unaffected and "appeared to bite at" the victim's neck.

The victim was severely injured and was given emergency first aid treatment before being transported to Stanford Hospital, where he initially was listed as being in serious but stable condition.

The suspect was taken to El Camino Hospital for treatment before he was taken to Santa Clara County jail.

Neal received national news coverage in 1993 when he was struck by a drunken driver while competing in an international bicycle race in Mexico. Aged 18 at the time, Neal suffered a broken collarbone and serious bone fractures, according to news reports at the time.

Police are still investigating what caused the fight, and could not say whether the suspect and the victim knew each other. Neal is facing charges including murder, obstructing or resisting a police officer and attempting to disarm a peace officer, according to the statement.

This is the first homicide reported in Mountain View since 2014, when someone shot and killed a 38-year-old man backstage at a Wiz Khalifa show at Shoreline Amphitheatre.

Anyone who may have witnessed the fight or who has information that would assist the homicide investigation is asked to contact Det. Dan Garcia at 650-903-6624.

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162 people like this
Posted by Jim Neal
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 8, 2017 at 2:50 pm

Jim Neal is a registered user.

Mountain View has never been crime free, but for many years we didn't have even one murder in our great city. Now however, violent attacks are becoming the norm and I am very concerned that eventually, major crimes will become the norm here also.

In my opinion, the reason that this will happen has nothing to do with race, religion, changing demographics, or other irrelevant physical or group characteristics and everything to do with numbers. Rapid, uncontrolled growth is always a recipe for disaster in a city of any size; but for a city the size of Mountain View, with it's many years of stability and slow growth, that problem is exacerbated.

Many people have been criticized for wanting to slow the building of new housing and new offices in the city so that the city has time to assimilate the new numbers. Others have wanted to build as quickly and as fast as possible (because after all, there's money to be made and who cares about history and community?).

It is a fact that the larger a city becomes, the more likely is to suffer from violent crime. In small towns where everyone know each other, major crimes are rare. In big cities they are generally a daily occurrence because the cities are too dynamic for everyone to have a real sense of community and to get to really know most of the people who live there.

The faster Mountain View grows, I believe that we will see more, as well as more frequent violent crime taking place here. During my campaign, I was not against growth, but I was for well managed growth. It is the city's responsibility to grow only as fast as the community can assimilate the new additions and irresponsible to do otherwise.

How do you know when a city is growing too quickly? You get spikes in violent crime, homelessness, hunger and other issues associated with poverty. I know that some will say 'Wait! You get the same thing with high unemployment!'. Well yes, that is true, but high unemployment is not a factor in the Bay Area. We also have the correlation between the explosive growth of offices and new stack and pack housing in the last few years and the increased number and severity of violent incidents.

That being said, the attacker is fully responsible for what he did and should be punished accordingly. I also feel a great deal of sympathy for the family of the victim. It is my hope that the city will take a look at this incident in order to find ways to keep similar incident from occurring in the future.

I remember a time when I knew everyone who lived within two blocks of me. We would speak to each other at least once a week, and in some cases every day. We would go to each other's parties, we knew each other's kids and birthdays. Ah the good old days! I miss 2013!........

Jim Neal
Old Mountain View

32 people like this
Posted by Rolling Eyes
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 8, 2017 at 3:08 pm

Wait! Going from zero to one is not a spike.

49 people like this
Posted by Elaine
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Nov 8, 2017 at 3:17 pm

6:30PM in a courtyard in front of the performing arts center, downtown and no gun or knife involved. And no one else could step in and try to prevent this? They had to wait for the po po to arrive? Where have all the cowboys gone? How many millenials walked by looking at their cell phone? It reminds me of the NY central park gang rape many years ago.

23 people like this
Posted by Mark
a resident of Shoreline West
on Nov 8, 2017 at 4:01 pm

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]

11 people like this
Posted by LOL
a resident of Bailey Park
on Nov 8, 2017 at 4:02 pm

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]

20 people like this
Posted by Fred H
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 8, 2017 at 4:26 pm

Mark - I'd like to point out that the article said even a baton and taser didn't bring this guy down.

In this case, I'm not sure attacking the attacker would have done any good other than resulting in more injuries.

(I'm not saying a group of 5-10 people working together couldn't have stopped him, but they would have to have acted in a highly coordinated manner.)

In addition, all of these people would have had to be independent in order to act (for example, not have to worry about a child in their care). In theory, if I was taking care of my kid and saw something like this happening, I could have witnessed from a distance and called police but would have felt unable to act so as to keep my child more safe.

59 people like this
Posted by Judge much
a resident of Bailey Park
on Nov 8, 2017 at 4:29 pm

55 isn't exactly elderly. And, if someone is in some sort of crazed frenzy - which it sound like this attacker was - I'm not sure I would jump in myself. A baton was used initially to try and subdue him and finally he was tazed, and while being tazed he was still behaving extremely aggressively - apparently biting at the victims neck. That seems extremely aggressive and completely out of control.

I have little doubt that anyone who witnessed the attack was horrified and perhaps terrified at what they were witnessing.

I wouldn't be so quick to judge or blame any witnesses for being unable - or too scared - to physically intervene in the middle of such a violent attack.

It's easy to pontificate about how we would/should act as a witness, but until we are actually in that situation I would be loathe to judge.

I have a close personal friend who was brutally murdered. Thankfully, I did not witness it, but I have zero compassion for those who covered for the murderer for years. Zero.

7 people like this
Posted by Dave
a resident of Gemello
on Nov 8, 2017 at 4:58 pm

[Post removed]

10 people like this
Posted by Me
a resident of Stierlin Estates
on Nov 8, 2017 at 6:39 pm

one murder every 4 years or so, for a city of 75000. We are doing fine.

98 people like this
Posted by Steve Old Town
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 8, 2017 at 10:19 pm

Steve Old Town is a registered user.

The police should have shot the suspect. The fact that he was allowed to continue attacking the victim with lethal force after refusing to obey verbal commands is more than justification.

185 people like this
Posted by Jim Neal
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 9, 2017 at 7:55 am

Jim Neal is a registered user.

@Rolling Eyes - Maybe you should talk to the family and friends of the man who was murdered and ask them how many is too many! How incredibly insensitive!

@LOL - What a shock, more personal insults. I am sure that most people understood my point that because of all the changes, many people have been forced to move out of Mountain View and/or have been evicted or are homeless because they can no longer afford the high rents. For those who are very wealthy, perhaps they haven't had any changes at all where they live.

@Dave - Thanks! You just helped me win a bet on how long it would take for someone to either libel me for committing the murder or try to associate me with the murderer somehow because we share the same last name. For the record, I am unrelated to Jan Neal. Also, I'm pretty sure that people arrested for murder usually don't have time or the ability to make comments in online publications.

Jim Neal
Old Mountain View

49 people like this
Posted by Reader
a resident of another community
on Nov 9, 2017 at 8:36 am

@Steve Old Town:

"The police should have shot the suspect."

It was a judgment call by the police.

6:30pm on that day was about 25 minutes after sunset, so already pretty dark to be shooting around with lots of people in the area. A performance was taking place at the time at the Center for the Performing Arts as well.

The risk of a bullet hitting an innocent bystander was likely very high.

Anyhow, I'm sorry to hear that the victim succumbed from his injuries.

31 people like this
Posted by Gary's Old Town Tavern
a resident of another community
on Nov 9, 2017 at 8:38 am

It is surprising that this is the first homocide in Mountain View since 2014. It seems like hardly a week goes by without a stabbing, a shooting, or an attempted murder of one sort or another in this city.

10 people like this
Posted by LOL
a resident of Bailey Park
on Nov 9, 2017 at 8:50 am

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]

113 people like this
Posted by Jim Neal
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 9, 2017 at 9:18 am

Jim Neal is a registered user.

In reading some of the comments here, I am truly stunned that it appears that some people are completely unconcerned and unaffected by the fact that someone actually was murdered here in our city. Perhaps that is reflective of the changes that I was referring to where people are no longer connected to one another as they once were. However, even if that is so, I would think that for everyone, human life would still have meaning, even if the person is a complete stranger.

I can also see both sides of the argument as to whether or not someone should have tried to intervene. For most of us, there is a strong instinct to step in when we see a defenseless person continue to be brutally assaulted, but on the other hand we have the press and elected officials telling us that only the police should protect us as well as the fact that if one does get involved, when the police do arrive, are they necessarily going to know who did what?

While some people would much rather focus on distractions from this tragic event, I hope that those who truly care about Mountain View and it's future will use this incident to really think about what they would do and what they would want someone else to do if someone they loved or cared about was being brutally assaulted. Sometimes there is nothing you can do, sometimes all you can do is call 911, and sometimes you have to take action. Knowing what to do and when can make a difference between life and death.

Jim Neal
Old Mountain View

5 people like this
Posted by AllYouCanEat
a resident of Monta Loma
on Nov 9, 2017 at 9:40 am

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]

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