Pole-wielding man arrested after foot chase

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A man was arrested in Redwood City on Tuesday morning after being spotted on a resident's front lawn simulating karate movements with a sharpened stick and then running from police, police said.

Residents called police at about 9:20 a.m. to report a man behaving strangely in the 1400 block of Sierra Street, Redwood City police Sgt. Kevin Dolezal said.

The man, later identified as 41-year-old Stephen Penitak, allegedly had a stick or a pole that he used to stab the trees and lawn outside a home.

When officers arrived, Penitak allegedly began walking away despite their demands that he stop. He walked up to another home and broke a window with his hands, according to police.

Police said Penitak then dumped a bag of syringes and suspected drugs into the home and climbed through the window after the objects.

The officers ran to the other side of the house and saw Penitak exit the home and jump over a fence.

With the help of additional officers and neighbors, Penitak was tracked to Redwood Avenue and Valota Street, where he continued to evade officers by running into a creek, police said.

He was taken into custody about 20 minutes later in the 1800 block of Redwood Avenue, police said.

Penitak, whose parole had recently ended, appeared to be under the influence of drugs and was taken to a hospital.

He was arrested on suspicion of resisting arrest, vandalism, possession of narcotics and paraphernalia, and being under the influence of drugs.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the Redwood City Police Department at (650) 780-7100.

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