Antioch Man Attacks Bay Area Police Officers Before Being Killed
WARNING: This video contains violent content. Viewer discretion is advised.
An Antioch man in an early Sunday melee slashed at an off-duty San Francisco sergeant’s neck before the cop shot the man, who also withstood a tasing and took off in police vehicle before officers shot and killed him.
The San Mateo County District Attorney’s office has cleared four police officers after they shot an Antioch man nine times during a frenzied sequence in April during which he slashed two people, including an off-duty officer, before taking off in a patrol vehicle.
Four officers, including an off-duty San Francisco sergeant and three South San Francisco officers, fired rounds at 35-year-old Justin Silvernale during the early-morning confrontation that began at a Chevron at 110 Hickey Boulevard in South San Francisco.
In a mandated investigative report this week, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe determined that officers used a “restrained approach” by trying to reason with Silvernale and waiting as he took off in the patrol car and “seemed intent on attacking the officers and any citizen in his path,” Wagstaffe wrote. The District Attorney’s Office decided that the officers’ actions were legally justified.
Silvernale died from multiple gunshot wounds to the torso at the scene, including bullet wounds to his upper back, abdomen and right hip, and had several other bullet entry wounds in his legs and groin, the coroner said. He also had high levels of methamphetamine in his blood.
He was also later linked to a homicide investigation in San Francisco, where a dismembered body was found inside an apartment on the 1600 block of Great Highway two weeks later. Wagstaffe told this news organization that the blood on Silvernale’s pants on April 12 matched the blood of the victim and that Silvernale was carrying the victim’s ID, but deferred questions about the status of the investigation to San Francisco police.
The San Francisco Police Department declined to comment, citing the ongoing investigation.
“Whether he was seeking to end his life by provoking the officers to lethal force cannot ever definitively be known, but it is a reasonable conclusion that was Mr. Silvernale’s goal that Sunday morning,” Wagstaffe wrote.
The encounter unfolded around 5:30 a.m. on April 12. According to security footage obtained by this news organization, Silvernale first attacked a man at his SUV parked by a Chevron pump near the mini-mart, punching him and pulling him out of the vehicle.
Off-duty San Francisco Sgt. William Pon meanwhile was filling up his pickup truck nearby and ran over to intervene. In the footage, Silvernale appears to rush at him several times. The duo traded blows before Pon tried to pick up the handcuffs that had fallen off his belt; at that point, Silvernale slashed him in the face with a box cutter-style knife, Wagstaffe wrote.
Another gas station patron meanwhile gave aid to the man who had been attacked and also slashed under his eye.
Pon backed away and warned Silvernale he would shoot, causing Silvernale to respond, “Go ahead and kill me,” according to Wagstaffe. Silvernale continued to approach Pon, who shot him once in the abdomen. In the surveillance footage, Silvernale can be seen repeatedly making slashing motions at his own throat.
Pon ran to the gas station clerk and asked him to call 911 as Silvernale got to his feet. A few minutes later, officers from the South San Francisco department — including Officer Andrew Hyde and Officer Justin Sakurai — rolled up in their patrol vehicles. Hyde hit Silvernale with a Taser, but quickly got back up, hitting the door of Hyde’s police car with his knife.
South San Francisco police Cpl. Chris Devan arrived at that point, according to Wagstaffe, and instructed the other officers to back further away to create distance. Silvernale walked around to the driver’s side of Hyde’s vehicle and climbed into the car — which had a rifle and shotgun inside — to drive off.
Hyde had left the keys in the car of the vehicle, as is typical, but forgot to lock the door, Wagstaffe said. While that “doesn’t have a consequence from a District Attorney standpoint” evaluating the case, Wagstaffe described it to this news organization as “a mistake.”
Silvernale drove about a mile west out to the Kaiser Permanante medical offices at 295 Hickey Boulevard, attempting to go through the security gates to the parking garage but puncturing the tires of the car. The officers followed and positioned their vehicles outside the garage, while Hyde walked outside on foot, armed with a shotgun.
Silvernale allegedly reversed toward Hyde, and then drove sharply to the right to hit Officer Sakurai’s vehicle, Wagstaffe said. Two more officers, Michael Valdes and Diana Quintero, arrived at that point and effectively sandwiched Silvernale’s vehicle between their own. As Devan shouted at him to get on the ground and drop the knife, Silvernale instead got out and “charged” at the officers with the knife in his right hand, Wagstaffe said.
Hyde fired one round while Devan and Valdes fired four and five rounds, believing that Silvernale intended to kill them and had repeatedly ignored commands, Wagstaffe said. Silvernale made it about two steps before falling onto his back. Devan knocked the knife from his hand and the officers placed handcuffs on him before rendering first aid; he was pronounced dead by emergency responders about 20 minutes later.
Pon and the bystander who was attacked at the gas station both received medical treatment for their injuries.
Devan has been with the South San Francisco department since 2004, while both Hyde and Valdes joined in 2019. Pon joined the San Francisco department in 2007 and was promoted to sergeant in 2014. All four officers were on administrative leave while the District Attorney’s Office completed its investigation.
NOTICE: All persons depicted are presumed to be innocent unless proven to be guilty in a court of law. The fugitive.com and fugitivewatch.com notations appearing on this are TRADEMARKS and NOT an expression of fact or opinion.
AVISO: Todas las personas representadas son presumidas de ser inocente a menos que resultara culpable en un tribunal de justicia. Fugitive.com y fugitivewatch.com anotaciones que aparecen en este sitio son MARCAS REGISTRADAS y NO una expresión de hecho o de opinión.
COMMENT ADVISEMENT: We welcome your thoughts, but for the sake of all readers, please refrain from the use of obscenities, personal attacks or racial slurs. All comments are subject to our terms of service and may be removed. Repeat offenders may lose commenting privileges.
AVISO DE COMENTARIO: Damos la bienvenida a tus pensamientos, pero por el bien de todos los lectores, por favor abstenerse de la utilización de obscenidades, ataques personales o insultos racistas. Todos los comentarios están sujetos a nuestros términos y condiciones del servicio, y podrá ser retirado. Reincidentes pueden perder privilegios comentar.
Fugitive Watch was founded in 1992 by two San Jose police officers, Steve Ferdin and Scott Castruita. Fugitive Watch is a reality-based television show, newspaper and website, fugitive.com. We can also be found on social media such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. The mission of Fugitive Watch is to make Your community safer by helping law enforcement fight crime. Fugitive Watch brings the community, local business, and law enforcement together to solve crimes, apprehend wanted fugitives and provide education and crime prevention information to the community.
Business and private sponsorship help Fugitive Watch empower the community to strike back at crime from the safety of their living rooms. Fugitive Watch has been credited by law enforcement with over several 1000 crimes solved or fugitives apprehended. Fugitive Watch also helps improve the safety of police officers by locating fugitives for law enforcement so they can more safely arrest them rather than unexpectedly running across them through extremely dangerous routine “chance encounters”. As law enforcement officers know all too well, These “chance encounters” have resulted in countless officer injuries and deaths.