Chase on campus ends in arrest – 10/23/2008

The officer yelled, “Stop!” but the man in black kept running.

Students watched silently and without expression as Foothill-De Anza police officer Manuel Respicio, dressed in a brown khaki uniform, ran fast and close behind the fleeing man. The two men darted through groups of students huddled to smoke at the front of De Anza College. Just as soon as they passed, those same students were using their cell phones to call their friends and tell them what had happened, even as they continued to watch the chase speed across Parking Lot A.

“He just ran right past me, like, pushing me aside,” said one student into her cell phone after the two men ran past. “They’re still chasing him, too!”

Many lost sight of the two running men, but at the far end of Parking Lot A near the north entrance to Stevens Creek Boulevard, another officer who had heard of the pursuit on his radio stood waiting. As the fleeing man approached, the officer drew his weapon and moved in to apprehend him. The confusion, the flash pursuit, the adrenaline rush that had started just minutes prior ended just as abruptly at 10:54 a.m. Wednesday.

Officers on the scene breathed heavily in the calm that followed the chaotic pursuit. They had a wanted man in custody. Roozbeh “Rooz” Enayati, a 28-year-old De Anza student, had two outstanding warrants out for his arrest; one in San Mateo County for failing to appear in court on charges of domestic violence, and the other in Santa Clara County for violating his probation.

Several campus and county police units responded to the back up call, and Enayati was placed under arrest at 11:11 a.m. The police searched his person as well as his backpack before locking both inside a Foothill-De Anza police car. Campus police delivered Enayati to Santa Clara County Jail, where he is being held until he can appear on trial.

Interim Director of Campus Safety and Security Bob Cancilla was one of the first officers to respond to the call for back up. “I was very impressed with the other officers’ handling of the situation,” he said. “It was all done very professionally. Our job is to make this a safe environment for the students and faculty, and I feel we have accomplished that today.”

According to the Belmont, Calif., police department, Enayati was arrested July 18, 2006, in Belmont in San Mateo County on a “Battery On Spouse, Cohabitant, Or Former Spouse” charge.

Campus police first received word Tuesday from San Mateo County of the bench warrant that had been issued for the De Anza student’s arrest. The police used his schedule of classes to determine his location Wednesday morning.

At 10:30 a.m., Enayati was attending a journalism class on news writing in room L-42. Two officers, one in a tan uniform and the other in plain clothes, approached the L4 building where Enayati waited unsuspecting.

The plain-clothes officer entered the classroom and, standing near the doorway, asked if Enayati would step outside to speak with him.

“It was probably about ten minutes into class,” said Aiselle De Vera, also a student in the news writing class. “He got up and went towards the door and they just left. The whole class kinda looked as they left. We didn’t know what happened after that because Rooz never came back.”

Once outside the classroom, the plain-clothes officer attempted to speak with him when Enayati, possibly spotting the uniformed officer, turned and fled toward the parking lot.

The officer in uniform, Respicio, followed closely behind while calling into his radio for back up. Units from the Foothill-De Anza police department and Santa Clara County responded to the call, and the North end of campus was soon flanked by several police cars and vans. Campus police were informed of the second arrest warrant after Enayati was apprehended.

“He seemed pretty normal,” said De Vera about Enayati. “He’d talk about homework, like what’s the answer to this question, or what did you do over the weekend or what classes are you taking. He never really said anything about himself personally.”

Co-written with Shawn McGann
Written for La Voz Weekly
10/23/2008
Original Article:  Chase on campus ends in arrest