Five Menlo Park police officers are injured during arrest of suspect

by Contributed Content on September 18, 2023

On Saturday, September 16, 2023, at approximately 2:24 pm, Menlo Park Police officers responded to the area of Hobart Street at Santa Cruz Avenue on a report of a shirtless male described as a “body builder”, acting erratically, running in and out of traffic and bleeding from the head.

Officers arrived to the area and encountered an adult male who was agitated, in an altered mental state and suffering from a significant head wound. Officers requested medical personnel while they engaged in a brief conversation with the subject to de-escalate the situation. Despite de-escalation efforts, the subject ran from the officers through busy afternoon traffic to the 800 block of Cotton. The subject then attempted to break into an occupied residence in the 800 block of Cotton Street.

Officers again attempted to engage him in de-escalation dialogue to no avail. The subject then attempted to break into an occupied residence at which time officers used less than lethal devices, to include a Taser and less than lethal flexible projectile to subdue him. Despite the deployment of these tools, the subject continued to resist arrest leading to a physical struggle that lasted over three minutes before officers were able to place him in handcuffs.

Menlo Park Fire and AMR ambulance personnel rendered aid to the subject, and he was transported to the hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries sustained prior to and during the altercation.

Five Menlo Park officers also sustained injuries and were treated at the hospital. All officers were later released from the hospital with varying degrees of injuries. While some were significant, thankfully none of the officers’ injuries were life-threatening.

On Sunday evening, September 17, 2023, the subject identified as Johnathan Koehl, a 45-year-old Belmont resident, was transported from the hospital to San Mateo County jail. Koehl was booked on multiple charges to include attempted burglary, resisting arrest, battery on a police officer, and obstructing a police officer.

The subject was involved in another incident with Belmont Police, which occurred on the early morning of September 16, 2023, before contact with Menlo Park officers. The interaction with Belmont Police concluded with him going to the hospital. The subject left the hospital on his own will and ended up in Menlo Park. Koehl was also booked on separate charges related to the Belmont incident.

This is an active investigation by our police department. We ask anyone who might have information regarding this case and/or who witnessed this incident to call the Menlo Park Police Department at (650) 330-6300 or the anonymous tip line at (650) 330-6395.

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