A man who attacked and mugged a 65-year-old woman on Christmas Day is set to appear in court Friday.
This crime constitutes the "third strike" for Jeffrey Owen Smith, 42, a Redwood City transient; therefore, the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office has indicated it is pusuing life in prison for Smith.
On Christmas Day around noon, Officer Galotta Jr. of the Redwood City Police Department (RCPD) witnessed Smith "attacking a petite, 65-year-old woman" near Woodside Road in Redwood City, the DA's Office reported.
Officer Galotta Jr. said he realized the situation was a robbery or mugging, as he saw Smith "reaching into the victim's pockets and grabbing a plastic [shopping] bag out of her hands."
Officer Galotta Jr. said he yelled "stop" at Smith three times. He said Smith then jumped in his car and accelerated down the block, where he crashed at a T-intersection.
Officer Galotta Jr. got his gun out and approached the vehicle and ordered Smith to get down on the ground. He said Smith did not immediately comply, but eventually did follow the officer's orders and got down on the ground, still clutching three one-dollar bills and a pack of cigarettes that he stole from the elderly victim in his hands.
The DA's Office reported that, at that point, an "angry crowd of witnesses" gathered around the scene "in a threatening manner to the suspect," so Officer Galotta Jr. then moved him to another location, where the victim was able to positively identify Smith as the man who had attacked and mugged her.
The DA's Office said it was then discovered that Smith was, at the time of the attack, on parole for a 2010 robbery in San Mateo County, and had been previously convicted of robberies in Santa Clara County as well.
Smith will appear in court Friday to enter a plea and set a date for a preliminary hearing. He is currently on custody on $500,000 bail.
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