Girl stabbed in unprovoked attack downtown; suspect arrested

By the Daily Post staff

A 16-year-old girl is hospitalized with major injuries after she was stabbed by a stranger in an unprovoked attack on a crosswalk in downtown Palo Alto this morning (Aug. 18). Her attacker was disarmed and pinned to the ground by two men who were walking nearby, police said.

Kenisha Monique Thomas, 39, of San Jose, was arrested and booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail for attempted murder and false imprisonment (for preventing the victim from fleeing by getting on top of her), according to police.

At 9:45 a.m., 911 dispatchers received several calls that a stabbing had just occurred on University Avenue at Emerson Street, near Lytton Plaza and Pizza My Heart.

Officers arrived and arrested the suspect, who had been detained and disarmed by two Good Samaritans, men in their 40s, who had seen the attack.

The girl sustained major injuries to her upper body but was conscious and speaking with officers, police said. She was rushed to a hospital, where she is in stable condition.

Police talked to witnesses and determined that the victim was walking westbound on the south side of University Avenue, crossing at Emerson Street. The suspect walked up behind the victim and attacked her with a knife, and pulled her to the ground in the crosswalk, police said.

The suspect then got on top of the victim and continued attacking her, police said. The two Good Samaritans physically intervened, with one of them taking the suspect off the victim. They were able to disarm her and pin her to the ground, while other witnesses assisted the victim, until police arrived.

Police said the victim and suspect were not known to each other, and there had been no prior contact between them before the attack. There is no known motive.

The weapon was a small, hand-held knife with a fixed 2½-inch blade.


  1. The situation downtown is getting worse every day. The parking garage tents, the robberies and now this. Who is going to want to go down there to shop or dine? I can’t understand why the City Council isn’t doing anything.

  2. Stop proposing new taxes, city council, and spend the money you do have on things that matter – like crime prevention and public safety. Stop this ‘defunding the police’ nonsense thanks to BLM and Raven Malone and Steven Lee. Look at the picture.

  3. Almost all the crimes in this City are repeat offenders with lengthy records. They look for opportunities knowing that the current administration in office will just release them after serving minimum times. It’s gotta be frustrating for our police officers to work so hard only to see our current politicians in office set them free. Recall coming up. Wonder if this accused was released early by those who were elected to serve tax payers?

  4. I wonder if this stabbing wouldn’t have happened if we had police walking a beat downtown. That’s a budget decision for city council. Instead of spending our money on consultants or pay raises, let’s put some cops on the streets.

  5. Visiting your fine town, and baffled by the indifference to mental illness. What did you think was going to happen?

  6. Visiting your fine town, and baffled by the indifference to mental illness. What did you think was going to happen? I hope the young girl has a speedy recovery and sues the shorts off apathetic local politicians that allowed this.

    • There were comments from her in today’s Post. Don’t know why the Post doesn’t put its stories online like the other papers.

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