For Release on March 26, 2014
CONTACT: Victoria Robinson, Deputy District Attorney North County Office (650) 324-6418
TRANSIENT WILL GET PRISON AFTER DISARMING PALO ALTO OFFICER DURING VIOLENT DOWNTOWN ATTACK A 34-year-old transient will serve eight years in prison for a daytime downtown Palo Alto attack during which he disarmed a desperately struggling police officer - and pointed the weapon at him. The still-holstered weapon was inoperable. Ryan Goodson was finally subdued by police, but not before he injured another officer. Goodson pleaded no contest today to brandishing a firearm at a peace officer, removing an officer’s firearm, and battery on a peace officer. Goodson is scheduled to be sentenced by the Hon. Diane Northway on May 8.
“This was a man attacking an officer and brandishing the officer’s gun on a Thursday afternoon in downtown Palo Alto,’’ prosecutor Victoria Robinson said. “It was a situation that could have gone so tragically wrong.”
On February 6, police received multiple calls about a suspicious man, including a report that he had just leaped from a closed hookah shop through its front plate glass window.
Just a few blocks from the police station, the officer saw the bloody suspect, and tried to stop him. Goodson attacked and eventually wrestled the officer to the ground, getting on top of him. As shocked witnesses looked on, the transient grabbed at the officer’s belted and holstered service weapon. The officer and suspect both managed to regain their footing. Now, Goodson was holding the officer’s gun, still encased in its holster.
As numerous Palo Alto officers quickly responded to the chaotic scene, Goodson hurled the loaded Glock 22 away. He struggled violently during the arrest, injuring another officer before he was finally subdued.
As part of his plea, Goodson also admitted a prior conviction for assault with a deadly weapon.