Man Impaled by Fence after Forgetting Storage Gate Code

A customer of Public Storage on Portola Drive found himself with a fence post through his leg Monday morning.


Among the last things one expects to see when approaching the front gate of a storage facility at 8 a.m. is a man clinging to the top of the fence with an iron post jabbed straight through his leg.

But that's exactly what happened at Public Storage at 3840 Portola Drive on Monday morning.

Around 7:30 a.m., a man arrived at Public Storage to remove items from a locker he rents, Sheriff's Deputy Daren Kerr told Patch. When he couldn't remember the gate code, he attempted to hop the fence to retrieve his items.

The big problem with his strategy: the fence is comprised of dozens of vertical metal bars that curve to a sharp point at the end. So when the man got to the top and tried to go over, one of the pales forced its way into and completely through the man's leg, leaving him clinging to life on top of the fence.

It appeared that the metal bar was just under the skin and not penetrating any muscle, Kerr said.

The man held on, suspended by the fence for about a half hour before another patron of Public Storage arrived to access his own locker. Kerr said that man called 911. 

Central Fire personnel arrived shortly after 8 a.m. and used the Jaws of Life to remove the victim and the post from the fence. Rather than pull the man from the fence, they opted to leave the section inside his leg for fear of blood loss, Kerr said.

Due to the low fog level Monday morning, the victim could not be flown to a hospital. Instead, Kerr said he was driven to the summit of Highway 17, where they will try to fly him to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center.

Kerr said he does not expect the man to be charged with a crime.

"He's just a guy with a storage unit who couldn't remember the gate code and got impaled by a fence," Kerr said.

It is not yet known what the man was trying to retrieve from his locker.

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Anne Ernst September 17, 2012 at 04:57 PM
Jacob Bourne September 17, 2012 at 05:22 PM
yeah...very yikes.
Frank Geefay September 17, 2012 at 06:19 PM
I guess the storage area is secure. Poor guy, must have been as painful as it was embarrassing. I hope the article he was trying to retrieve was worth it.
Eric Bosloor January 18, 2013 at 09:03 AM
This is very dangerous thing to do. I wonder if he also has any of the customer service or operations employees’ number if he really needs to get items in the self-storage facility. I would not encourage my clients for this, though I handle location scouting. I heard of horror stories with other self-storage facilities, but we are quite fortunate that none has happened to us with a magnitude like this. So far, only minor incidents but I am hoping that no client will be able to think about doing this.


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