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A manhunt in a Palo Alto neighborhood Thursday afternoon ended after a police canine found the wanted man hiding in a crawl space underneath a house, Palo Alto police said. Around 12:35 p.m. two officers on foot on University Avenue attempted to stop a car for cellphone and gridlock violations, police said. The suspect drove away and crashed his car into six other cars in the 300 and 400 block of University Avenue before jumping out of the car, leaving it behind and running away on foot, police said. Officers chased after him as he heading north of downtown Palo Alto.
During the chase, the suspect jumped into the driver’s seat of a truck that was double-parked with the engine running in the 300 block of Waverley Street. The truck driver, a man in his 50s standing nearby, jumped into the passenger seat to try to stop the suspect from taking his truck, according to police. The suspect allegedly told the victim he had a gun and ordered the truck driver out of the car. When the victim refused, a fight ensued between the two, according to police. The suspect continued driving for about half a block before the victim was able to overpower the suspect and get his foot on the brakes, which was when the suspect got out of the truck and continued running, according to police. The victim did not see a gun and a weapon was not found after the manhunt, police said.
At this point officer spotted the suspect near Hawthorne Avenue and Waverley Street and received reports that the suspect was hopping fences into residents’ yards. Officers set up a perimeter and started to search for the suspect in every yard and brought in canine units from the East Palo Alto Police Department and the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office. When officers reached a home in the 200 block of Waverley Street they found evidence in the yard indicating that the suspect was possibly hiding in the crawl space under the home, police said. After officers made commands for the suspect to surrender, a police canine was sent into the crawl space. The suspect was found there, but he continued to refuse to surrender.
The canine then bit the suspect, after which officers brought him into custody around 3:20 p.m., according to police. Officers took the suspect to the hospital for treatment for minor puncture wounds to the arm from the dog bite, police said. The carjacking victim suffered minor scrapes and scratches to his hands and arms after fighting with the suspect but declined medical attention, according to police. One of the occupants of a car on University Avenue that was hit complained of back pain. No officers were injured during the manhunt. A search of the suspect’s abandoned vehicle turned up several pieces of commercial property that may have been stolen, police said. An investigation into the property’s origin is underway. The suspect, 19-year-old Oakland resident Cameron Conley, was booked at the Santa Clara County Main Jail after he was released from the hospital
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