The Blotter | Man arrested after alleged assault at ACE Hardware

A suspect is in custody after allegedly assaulting another man in the ACE Hardware on Grand Avenue.

The incident began at 4:23 p.m. on April 26 when a report of an unconscious male at the store came in. Witnesses told police a suspect had “randomly” struck an elderly male from behind, causing the victim to fall to the ground, according to Piedmont Police Capt. Chris Monahan. The suspect fled next door to the garden center.

Police confronted the subject and, according to Monahan, the suspect was uncooperative and refused to comply with commands. Monahan added that the suspect appeared to be under the influence of “drug or narcotic.”

Police deployed pepper spray and a taser but the suspect then fled and forced his way into a residence on Sunnyslope Avenue, according to Monahan. After allegedly threatening the resident, the suspect fled again onto Valle Vista Avenue. Police Chief Jeremy Bowers had arrived on the scene and confronted the suspect. According to Monahan, the suspect jumped into Bowers’ vehicle. Bowers jumped in after him to try to prevent an escape. Monahan said the suspect attacked Bowers but that other officers and a security guard were able to remove the suspect and take him into custody.

The suspect was identified as Willy Gomer, a transient. He was on parole for auto theft, robbery, kidnapping and multiple parole violations, according to Monahan. He was charged with assault with great bodily injury, causing injury to an elder adult, battery with serious bodily injury, battery of a police officer, obstructing a police officer, robbery burglary, carjacking, possession of a controlled substance and parole violations.

The elderly male victim was taken to the hospital with a head injury. He is out of the hospital, according to Monahan, but further information is unavailable. One police officer is off work with a dislocated thumb. Two others received bruises and bumps, according to Monahan.

On April 21, Piedmont police observed a 2010 Honda Accord parked on Santa Clara Avenue at 6:37 a.m. A records check reported the car stolen out of Oakland and that it had been involved in a carjacking, according to Monahan. The Honda began to drive away and the officer pulled it over. A records check on the driver found her clear. Oakland police sent a crime scene technician to check the vehicle but said the driver was not who they were looking for, according to Monahan. The driver was cited for possessing the stolen vehicle and released and the registered owner was contacted.

At 1:25 p.m. on April 22, a prowler was reported in the side yard of a home on Olive Avenue. The home was able to “scare away” the prowler and there is no reported loss of property, according to Monahan. The suspect got into a gray Mercedes C Class and fled. The vehicle was the same one connected to a residential burglary on Ramona Avenue, according to Monahan.

Also on April 22, a green 1995 Chevrolet Silverado was stolen from Hillside Avenue at approximately 2:23 p.m. The vehicle is worth about $3,000 and the owner stated they are willing to press charges against anyone found in possession of the vehicle, according to Monahan. The suspect vehicle is a black 2015-18 Acura RDX.

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