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Palo Alto Man Accused Of Hate Crime Following Violent Weekend Assault In City's Downtown

PALO ALTO (CBS SF) – A man was arrested on suspicion of a hate crime following a violent assault on two victims in downtown Palo Alto over the weekend, according to authorities.

Shortly after 1:30 a.m. on Sunday, police in Palo Alto responded to the area of University Avenue and Waverly Street after reports of a fight. When officers arrived, they found two victims, identified as a man in his 60s and a woman in her 20s.

Police said the male victim had lost consciousness and suffered a laceration to the back of his head. He was admitted to a local hospital to be evaluated a possible head injury. The female victim was not injured.

According to an investigation, the suspect and the female victim knew each other and were at a downtown bar and at a house party with some friends earlier in the night. The woman then left the home with the male victim and another man, both of whom she identified as gay.

Police said the suspect then followed them and directed homophobic epithets to the men. When they got to the intersection, the men parted ways with the female victim and the suspect stayed with her despite telling him to leave her alone.

The male victim then returned and told the suspect to leave the woman alone. According to police, the suspect then punched the man several times and while continuing to direct homophobic epithets at him. The suspect also threw the woman to the ground when she tried to intervene.

When police arrived, the suspect then fled on foot. Officers found him hiding in a stairwell at an apartment complex on the 400 block of Everett Avenue, about two blocks away.

Officers attempted to negotiate with the suspect, but he did not comply, police said. When a police dog was brought in to help take him into custody, officers said the suspect kicked the canine repeatedly and attempted to choke the dog. The dog bit the suspect in the leg and he was taken into custody without further incident.

Police said the suspect, identified as 26-year-old Alexander Joseph Furrier of Palo Alto, was treated for the wound to his leg before being taken into custody. The dog had a cut above one of his eyes and may have injured a paw.

Alexander Joseph Furrier
Alexander Joseph Furrier. (Palo Alto Police Department)

Furrier was taken into the Santa Clara County Jail on charges of felony battery, felony hate crime, felony assault on a police dog and resisting arrest.

According to jail records, Furrier is being held at the Elmwood Correctional Facility in Milpitas without bail. He is scheduled to appear in court on Thursday.

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