New details emerge in Mtn. View murder case


A Marin County man accused of killing another man in downtown Mountain View earlier this month used a bicycle, a chair and a table to commit the crime, the first murder in the city in three years, according to officials.

Jan Neal, 43, is charged with murder, resisting an officer and attempting to remove a firearm from an officer. He is being held without bail at the Santa Clara County Main Jail. As of the Town Crier’s Monday press deadline, Santa Clara County Medical-Examiner Coroner’s Office employees were still working to establish a positive identification of the deceased and to notify his family; a Mountain View Police Department report refers to the victim as a “55-year-old man,” and a Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office statement of facts refers to him as “John Doe.”

The incident occurred at approximately 6:30 p.m. Nov. 4 in the Mountain View City Hall courtyard, located at 500 Castro St., according to the DA statement. Mountain View Police officers responding to reports of a fight in the plaza discovered Neal crouched over the victim, who lay unconscious on the ground near a fountain-side seating area outside the Bean Scene Cafe.

Witnesses described Neal as the aggressor, the DA statement reported. They allegedly watched him alternate among using a mountain bike, a metal chair and a metal table to repeatedly beat the victim’s head and torso.

Officers attempted to pull Neal away from the victim, but he resisted and tried to disarm one, according to the statement. He did not respond to shocks from a Taser and even appeared to bite the victim’s neck at one point during the struggle. Eventually, officers managed to restrain Neal, and they administered emergency first aid to the victim, but the man died the next day at Stanford Hospital.

An autopsy indicates that the victim died from blunt-force trauma to the face due to multiple blows to the head, the statement noted.

A motive for the crime remains under investigation. Mountain View Police detectives could not say whether the men knew each other or whether drugs or alcohol may have factored into the altercation.

It is the first murder recorded in Mountain View since 2014, when a 38-year-old man was shot to death during a Wiz Khalifa concert at Shoreline Amphitheatre.

Neal’s criminal history includes a 2013 arrest on burglary charges, according to Santa Clara County court records. He pleaded no contest to the charges and was remanded to custody.

Anyone with information about the Nov. 4 attack is asked to call Detective Dan Garcia at 903-6624.

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