Man arrested for battery and hate crimes following fight downtown

Alexander Joseph Furrier, 26, of Palo Alto

By the Daily Post staff

Following a foot chase, officers arrested a man who was hurling anti-gay slurs and fighting with people in downtown Palo Alto, police said.

One of the man’s victims was knocked temporarily unconscious during the altercation. A police dog bit the suspect at the end of the chase.

Alexander Joseph Furrier, 26, of Palo Alto, was arrested and taken to the Santa Clara County Jail following the fight at about 1:30 a.m. Sunday, according to police.

Police got a call from a witness reporting two men fighting at the intersection of University Avenue and Waverley Street in downtown Palo Alto. Officers responded and found two victims — a man in his 60s who had temporarily lost consciousness and a woman in her 20s. They also found Furrier, who had blood on his face, police said.

Furrier started running and officers chased him while other officers helped the two victims until paramedic-firefighters could arrive.

From talking to the victims, police discovered that Furrier and the woman were acquaintances and had been at a downtown bar, and then went to a house party with a group of mutual friends.

The woman left the home with the man in his 60s and another man, both of whom she identified as being gay, according to police.

Furrier followed the three on foot and continually called the two men gay epithets, police said.

When they got to University and Waverley, the men parted ways from the female victim. Furrier stayed with her despite her telling him to leave her alone. Furrier refused and proceeded to say rude things to her.

The man in his 60s returned to University and Waverley to ask the woman if she needed any help. When she replied that she did, the man in his 60s confronted Furrier and asked him to leave the woman alone.

Furrier then attacked the man, punching him several times while continuing to direct homophobic epithets at him, according to police.

When the woman tried to intervene, Furrier then picked up the female victim and threw her to the ground, police said.

Furrier continued to punch the male victim, who was knocked temporarily unconscious as a result of the assault.

Police arrived on scene, and Furrier took off running, according to police. Officers caught up with him on the 400 block of Everett Avenue, where they found him hiding on a second-floor stairwell of an apartment complex.

Officers, including one who is also a member of the Department’s Crisis Negotiation Team, attempted to negotiate with Furrier to come downstairs and surrender, police said. Furrier did not comply and then refused to obey multiple arrest commands, even after being warned a police canine could be used to arrest him.

Police used one of their dogs to help them take Furrier into custody. Furrier kicked the police dog repeatedly in the head and attempted to choke the dog between his legs until the officers were able to get Furrier safely handcuffed and in custody, according to police.

Police said that officers used no additional force on Furrier other than the canine.

Officers rendered first aid to Furrier’s leg because of the dog bite. They summoned personnel from the Palo Alto Fire Department to take Furrier to the hospital for treatment.

The male victim sustained a laceration to the back of his head and was admitted to the hospital for evaluation for a possible head injury. The female victim said she was physically uninjured.

Furrier sustained multiple lacerations from the dog bite to his lower leg, as well as a cut on his face that occurred prior to police arriving on scene.

The police dog sustained a cut above one eye and also may have injured a paw; a veterinarian will evaluate and treat the dog’s injuries. No officers were injured during the arrest.

Following brief treatment at a local hospital where officers obtained a medical clearance for incarceration, police booked Furrier into jail for felony battery, felony hate crime, felony assault on a police dog, and misdemeanor resisting arrest (for fleeing from the police).


    • If that refers to putting a scissor lock around the head of an large, aggitated, toothy dog, and exposing a sensitive area of the attacker, I’d say “carefully,very carefully”.

  1. The charges for felony battery, felony assault on a police dog, and misdemeanor resisting arrest are proper but not the felony hate crime – a thought crime which has no place in a free society that protects freedom of speech.

  2. Sometimes one wonders if attacks on gays are due to the attacker’s own fears of his or her own latent homosexual feelings. Reaction formation?

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