Man arrested on suspicion of burglarizing home while resident was home

Wayne Darko

By the Daily Post staff

A man has been arrested after going into a Palo Alto home and rummaging around inside until the homeowner yelled at him to leave, police said.

Earlier in the day, the same man was found sleeping in another resident’s backyard but officers decided not to take him to jail, police said.

Wayne Darko, 35, of San Jose, was arrested on Monday afternoon on the 1100 block of Ramona Street.

A man in his 70s called police after Darko allegedly went inside his house through the unlocked front door. The resident heard the door open and found Darko looking through his things, police said. 

The resident yelled at Darko to get out of his house, and Darko ran without taking anything, police said.

Police had contact with Darko in the morning, just before 8 a.m. on the 300 block of Kingsley Avenue. Another resident called police after he or she found Darko sleeping in a backyard.

Darko had two outstanding warrants, one for resisting arrest in Santa Cruz County and the other for vandalism, theft, trespassing and resisting arrest in Sunnyvale, police said. Officers cited him in the morning for the Sunnyvale case and opted not to take him to jail for the Santa Cruz warrant, which couldn’t be cleared with a citation.

The resident didn’t ask police to arrest Darko with trespassing, so he was let go.

Darko is now charged with residential burglary. He is in jail with bail set at $60,000.


  1. It seems that the police have done their best to avoid jailing this guy, and he has to commit progressively more serious crimes to get their attention. Maybe it is time to keep him locked up.

  2. This is is a police failure. I support the police, but it has to be said they failed to protect this resident and the community. They also failed the perpetrator: by ‘opting’ not to take him away on the outstanding warrants, he carried on, and the elder resident would have sound justification to use deadly force and kill the man. See castle doctrine. CA Penal Code 198.5.

    PAPD should be account for their conduct here.

    A warrant is a command from a court to law enforcement to bring a person in. They’re issued because a judge or grand jury has been convinced by a showing of evidence that there’s probable cause that the particular person has committed a crime; or the person has defied the court and failed to appear.

    Did PAPD at all have discretion to ‘opt’ not to obey the issuing court on the multiple warrants? PAPD should answer. If PAPD had proper discretion, how did PAPD abuse this discretion: the warrants were for trespass, theft, vandalism, resisting lawful authority. What was the perpetrator doing in Palo Alto? Trespass, exactly what the warrant recites. It was entirely foreseeable that Darko would continue the same arc. And it’s unreasonable to expect that issuing a citation (a ticket) to appear would have him appear. He’s already defied lawful authority in several ways.

    The public and City Council should demand an accounting, and change policy to bring in anyone they run across who has outstanding warrants.

  3. I understand officer discretion, but I didn’t know they could override a warrant. That doesn’t make any sense.

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