Police arrested a tennis instructor in Palo Alto Monday on suspicion of multiple child endangerment charges after he allegedly left adolescents and young teens alone during an attempt to possibly evade police.
Song Jian Wu, 47, a San Jose resident, was detained and booked Monday afternoon on nine counts of child endangerment. That followed a separate encounter with police last week when he was cited on suspicion of operating without a business permit and giving false information to a police officer.
Police first engaged Wu Friday at 10:56 a.m. after a call from a tennis player at who claimed the instructor was hogging all of the courts with his tennis class, police spokesperson Sandra Brown said.
Officers showed up and questioned Wu, who apparently was teaching the students, all between 8 and 13-years-old, without a proper business license or permit, Brown said. He also gave police the run-around, Brown said, when they asked who he was, eventually giving a false name. Police later cited him on both violations and left the scene.
On Monday, police received a similar call from a tennis player at Cubberley Community Center. Again, Wu had allegedly commandeered all of the courts for his tennis class, for which he charged roughly $20 per student, Brown said. As police arrived on the scene, one officer spotted Wu leaving the area in a car.
"We got out there and he took off," Brown said. "At the time, we had no reason to believe he had committed a crime, so we let him go."
The officers could not track him down, but later discovered that he had left five of his students unsupervised on the courts. When questioned, the students told police that Wu had taken his remaining four students with him, Brown.
So police pulled his number from Friday's record and called him.
"We ended up finding out he and the other kids were at the tennis courts in Rengstorff Park," Brown said. "Then he left them there, alone, to come meet us at Cubberley. We arrested him on nine counts of child endangerment."
Wu was booked in to Santa Clara County Jail Monday night. A spokesperson from the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Officer could not be reached to comment on Wu's bail status or when he is scheduled for arraignment.