Woman gives obscene gesture in mugshot; accused of assaulting officer

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A woman is in custody after being accused of leading a police chase and fighting with officers and a police dog Wednesday in Palo Alto.

Around 1:23 a.m. an officer was running a routine registration check when they found there was an outstanding felony warrant for the driver.

Tyechia Denise Payton, 34, of Thornton was wanted for assault with a deadly weapon.

Payton was the only person in the car, which police stopped at El Camino Real and Stanford Ave.

At first police say she was complying with officers. Then suddenly she took off westbound on Stanford Ave.

Police chased her down Juniper Serra Blvd., then onto Page Mill Rd. into the Palo Alto foothills.

The pursuit ended in the 3200 block of Alexis Dr. where the road comes to a dead end.

This is when Payton got out of her car and started punching an officer, police said. A second officer fired their TASER on Payton, who then took off running.

A police canine chased her down. She punched the K-9 as he was “taking her into custody,” police said.

Paramedics treated Payton at the scene for minor injuries from the canine officer.


She was then taken to a local hospital, “as per standard procedure following a TASER application and canine apprehension,” police said.

It is unclear if Payton was hit by the TASER.

There were no injuries to the officers or police dog.

Payton was booked into Santa Clara County Main Jail for the following:

  • Felony Evading
  • Assault on a Police Officer (Felony)
  • Assault on a Police Dog (Felony)
  • Misdemeanor Resisting Arrest

She was also booked for her two outstanding warrants (felony assault with a deadly weapon and a misdemeanor traffic offense).

Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to call Palo Alto Police at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to paloalto@tipnow.org, or texted/called in to 650-383-8984.

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