San Diego

Man Arrested After Allegedly Vandalizing Cars, Yelling Racial Slurs in Menlo Park

A 34-year-old San Diego man was arrested Tuesday after allegedly vandalizing several vehicles in Menlo Park, shouting racial epithets at a man who intervened and then threatened and struggled against officers who detained him, prosecutors said.

At about 1:15 p.m. Tuesday, Cole Hoffman was seen vandalizing parked cars along Bohannon Drive, located off Marsh Road near U.S. Highway 101, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office.

A 34-year-old African American man came out and saw Hoffman allegedly kick the fender of his car and confronted him, causing Hoffman to allegedly threaten to "slice and stab" the victim while calling him numerous racial epithets and yelling "white power," prosecutors said.

The victim ran away and called police. Officers responded and found Hoffman had allegedly damaged 10 separate vehicles that had broken windows, damaged wipers and dents.

Officers chased and caught Hoffman, who was allegedly yelling more racial epithets at an African American security guard and others nearby. He struggled with officers and told one that he was going to slit the throat of everyone with the same name as the officer, prosecutors said.

Hoffman was arraigned Wednesday in Redwood City, pleading not guilty to charges of vandalism, criminal threats and resisting arrest. The county Private Defender Program was appointed to represent him and he will return to court on May 7 for a preliminary hearing, prosecutors said.

He remains in custody in lieu of $200,000 bail.

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