San Francisco Private Detective Helps Solve Attack That Left Him Unconscious

4 mins read

Jack Palladino, one of San Francisco’s most famous private detectives, suffered a near-fatal attack that left him unconscious in the hospital but was able to help solve the case despite being asleep.

On Sunday, police officers identified two suspects for the violent crime who have been taken into custody. Last Thursday, authorities believe 24-year-old Lawrence Thomas and 23-year-old Tyjone Flournoy were the main culprits that robbed and attacked Palladino.

Solving His Own Case

Officers said that they were able to solve the case, with the victim’s help, due to photographs on his camera, which was one of the items the suspects allegedly tried to steal. Authorities notified Palladino’s family while he was still unconscious in his hospital bed, “I said, ‘Guess what, Jack, they got the bastards, and it was all your doing,’” his wife, detective Sandra Sutherland, said.

Medical officials said Palladino remained in critical condition after suffering a brutal head injury after the attack. Sutherland revealed the victim’s family decided to take him off life support and started to breathe on his own, but was not expected to live long.

“Jack’s a hard person to keep down. But I really think this is it,” Sutherland said.

Officials said police placed Thomas in jail on Friday while Flournoy was arrested on Saturday and booked into jail on Saturday. Authorities said the two suspects were believed to have committed the same crimes: attempted robbery, aggravated kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon, conspiracy, false imprisonment, and elder abuse.

Palladino had many clients ranging from politicians to famous celebrities, including former President Bill Clinton and a 14-year-old boy who filed a lawsuit against Michael Jackson for alleged molestation and won a multi-million dollar civil settlement.

Sutherland revealed Palladino had just taken off his glasses and grabbed his camera before dashing out of their home on the 1400 block of Page Street in the Haight before the attack happened. “He went out to take photographs of people who were doing mischief in the neighborhood,” she said.

The victim’s wife believed the two suspects, who were inside their car, saw Palladino while he was taking photographs outside. “They gunned him down (with the car) and tried to get the camera, which they failed to do. Because Jack wouldn’t let go,” Sutherland said.

Brutal Attack

Palladino’s stepson, Nick Chapman, said the suspects dragged his stepfather, causing him to hit his head. Chapman said Palladino was still conscious right after the attack but lost consciousness shortly after.

While Sutherland had no idea what was inside Palladino’s camera, officials “found that evidence very useful in apprehending these two people,” the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Late last year, San Francisco police arrested four men, including Flournoy, in relation to the murder of Ronisha Cook, 33 years old, after being shot to death on December 19, 2019.

While two of the men were charged, a third, along with Flournoy, were not, due to lack of sufficient evidence. “We filed murder charges against the people we believe we can prove were the actual shooter and the driver of the car. At the time of the arrests, we asked police to keep investigating the two passengers in the car, including Mr Flournoy,” District Attorney Chesa Boudin said.

However, Palladino and his wife were supporters of Boudin. “I’m a supporter of Chesa Boudin, and so is Jack. And I’m sure he’ll do the right thing,” Sutherland said.

Danielle Joyce Ong

Danielle is a local journalist with a passion for exploring stories related to crime and politics. When Danielle isn't busy writing or reading, she is usually exploring the great outdoors and all the hiking trails in the Bay.