DA Office’s Does Not Seek Charges After Assault on DPD Officers

The Vanguard has learned that on August 1, 2007, a 43 year-old homeless man was involved in an altercation with other homeless people at the Davis Community Shelter. He was apparently harassing others, began to vandalize the facility and refused to leave. But by the time police arrived he had left the facility. Nevertheless, a few minutes later he attempted to return at which point police attempted to arrest him for trespassing.

It was at this point that a scuffle ensued with the police. According to one witness, he actually lifted an officer over his head, but apparently no one was seriously injured. He was arrested for trespassing and assault on an officer.

However, two days later on August 3, he was released without charges being filed. According to Davis Police Chief Landy Black, court rulings on trespassing laws have been that if an individual leaves a place that is normally open to the public prior to officers arriving, then they cannot charge an individual with trespassing.

Nevertheless, the police were there for a valid reason and made a lawful arrest at which point the individual resisted in a violent manner and assaulted a police officer.

Landy Black expressed disappointment with the decision by the District Attorney’s office to release the individual and not prosecute the crime – at least – of assault on a police officer at the time. However, he stressed that they are still working with the District Attorney to perhaps get charges filed at a later point.

In the meantime the Davis Police are using the incident as a learning experience to better understand the law in this regard and also to use it as a training exercise for future examples of how this could be handled better and what to do to avoid this kind of situation.

Sixteen days after he was initially released, on August 19, 2007, the individual was arrested again. This time he is being held in the county jail and has a court date set for September 5, 2007 at which point he faces charges for public intoxication, assaulting a peace officer, and resisting arrest for an incident that occurred on A Street and 10th Street in Davis.

The Deputy District Attorney in charge of his initial case was Steve Mount. Mr. Mount told me that he had no knowledge of this case after he declined to file charges on August 3, 2007. He told me that the trespassing charge failed to meet standards and that the assault charges were sent back to the police department for further reporting and that’s the end of his involvement in the case.

For many, the complaints against the District Attorney’s office have been that they over-prosecute fairly minor crimes. But from time-to-time, I have heard the opposite complaints–that they fail to prosecute more serious crimes.

This individual clearly both represented and represents a serious danger to the police and this community. He has a long arrest history that includes repeated arrests for assault, theft, drugs, and is a registered sex offender. Any individual who can manhandle the police or who would assault an officer is an individual that is a danger to the community at large.

Those familiar with the situation have openly wondered why this individual was released at the same time the District Attorney’s office has vigilantly prosecuted many young people, particularly black and Hispanics for non-violent drug possession offenses and yet allowed this man with a long history of violence to be released.

There may be legitimate reasons that explain why the District Attorney did not initially seek charges of this individual. And they may yet seek charges against this individual for the August 1 incident, however that sixteen days that the individual was released exposed the public and the Davis Police to a dangerous individual who would repeat his actions. Fortunately, no one was seriously hurt this time; however, we may not be so lucky next time.

—Doug Paul Davis reporting

Author

  • David Greenwald

    Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

Categories:

Law Enforcement

72 comments

  1. Something to look into… the criticism of former Yolo District Attorney for not prosecuting a hate crime(s). And now, the suspect in the hate crime homicide of the Satender Singh is reportedly being represented by a defense attorney by the name of David Henderson. Is this the same former DA that declined to pursue hate crime prosecutions as DA?

  2. Something to look into… the criticism of former Yolo District Attorney for not prosecuting a hate crime(s). And now, the suspect in the hate crime homicide of the Satender Singh is reportedly being represented by a defense attorney by the name of David Henderson. Is this the same former DA that declined to pursue hate crime prosecutions as DA?

  3. Something to look into… the criticism of former Yolo District Attorney for not prosecuting a hate crime(s). And now, the suspect in the hate crime homicide of the Satender Singh is reportedly being represented by a defense attorney by the name of David Henderson. Is this the same former DA that declined to pursue hate crime prosecutions as DA?

  4. Something to look into… the criticism of former Yolo District Attorney for not prosecuting a hate crime(s). And now, the suspect in the hate crime homicide of the Satender Singh is reportedly being represented by a defense attorney by the name of David Henderson. Is this the same former DA that declined to pursue hate crime prosecutions as DA?

  5. I agree, it sounds like this guy has some serious issues and a lot of people would be better off if he was not around. It also sounds like the initial police report was lacking something – just complete the investigation work then throw the book at him.

    The story reflects a number of positive things-

    No mention of tasers -probably not necessary and therefore not used.

    The deputy DA is taking time to thoughtfully consider his case – might as well not file charges unless the facts are well documented. You can argue that the DDA might have done the wrong thing in this case but I am sure there are different versions of the original incident and it is nice to hear someone is interested in due process.

  6. I agree, it sounds like this guy has some serious issues and a lot of people would be better off if he was not around. It also sounds like the initial police report was lacking something – just complete the investigation work then throw the book at him.

    The story reflects a number of positive things-

    No mention of tasers -probably not necessary and therefore not used.

    The deputy DA is taking time to thoughtfully consider his case – might as well not file charges unless the facts are well documented. You can argue that the DDA might have done the wrong thing in this case but I am sure there are different versions of the original incident and it is nice to hear someone is interested in due process.

  7. I agree, it sounds like this guy has some serious issues and a lot of people would be better off if he was not around. It also sounds like the initial police report was lacking something – just complete the investigation work then throw the book at him.

    The story reflects a number of positive things-

    No mention of tasers -probably not necessary and therefore not used.

    The deputy DA is taking time to thoughtfully consider his case – might as well not file charges unless the facts are well documented. You can argue that the DDA might have done the wrong thing in this case but I am sure there are different versions of the original incident and it is nice to hear someone is interested in due process.

  8. I agree, it sounds like this guy has some serious issues and a lot of people would be better off if he was not around. It also sounds like the initial police report was lacking something – just complete the investigation work then throw the book at him.

    The story reflects a number of positive things-

    No mention of tasers -probably not necessary and therefore not used.

    The deputy DA is taking time to thoughtfully consider his case – might as well not file charges unless the facts are well documented. You can argue that the DDA might have done the wrong thing in this case but I am sure there are different versions of the original incident and it is nice to hear someone is interested in due process.

  9. I wonder if this is the same homeless guy who swung at one of my friends while we were enjoying the campfire at the Turtle House. He tried to grab a cae of beer, but my friend stopped him.

    Another one of my friends said he had seen the same guy picking a fight with people on A street.

    From your story DPD, if its the same guy…he should be prosecuted.

  10. I wonder if this is the same homeless guy who swung at one of my friends while we were enjoying the campfire at the Turtle House. He tried to grab a cae of beer, but my friend stopped him.

    Another one of my friends said he had seen the same guy picking a fight with people on A street.

    From your story DPD, if its the same guy…he should be prosecuted.

  11. I wonder if this is the same homeless guy who swung at one of my friends while we were enjoying the campfire at the Turtle House. He tried to grab a cae of beer, but my friend stopped him.

    Another one of my friends said he had seen the same guy picking a fight with people on A street.

    From your story DPD, if its the same guy…he should be prosecuted.

  12. I wonder if this is the same homeless guy who swung at one of my friends while we were enjoying the campfire at the Turtle House. He tried to grab a cae of beer, but my friend stopped him.

    Another one of my friends said he had seen the same guy picking a fight with people on A street.

    From your story DPD, if its the same guy…he should be prosecuted.

  13. Republican DA Reisig is fitting the pattern of national repubs. Nationally, they go nuts over accusations of gay sex, but have no problems with an illegal war. Locally, they want to prosecute a fender-bender or wayward goats, but not assault on an officer. Their priorities are totally reversed.

  14. Republican DA Reisig is fitting the pattern of national repubs. Nationally, they go nuts over accusations of gay sex, but have no problems with an illegal war. Locally, they want to prosecute a fender-bender or wayward goats, but not assault on an officer. Their priorities are totally reversed.

  15. Republican DA Reisig is fitting the pattern of national repubs. Nationally, they go nuts over accusations of gay sex, but have no problems with an illegal war. Locally, they want to prosecute a fender-bender or wayward goats, but not assault on an officer. Their priorities are totally reversed.

  16. Republican DA Reisig is fitting the pattern of national repubs. Nationally, they go nuts over accusations of gay sex, but have no problems with an illegal war. Locally, they want to prosecute a fender-bender or wayward goats, but not assault on an officer. Their priorities are totally reversed.

  17. Two points:

    1) The man should obviously be in jail AND getting some mental health assistance of some sort.

    2) I attended the NAMI forum during campaign for DA and Reisig was clearly not in the know. It was quite embarassing to watch/listen to him talk re: mental health, substance abuse, incarceration issues.

    He is not the greatest DA. I’m glad I voted for Pat. If we’re luckly we’ll get someone else next time.

  18. Two points:

    1) The man should obviously be in jail AND getting some mental health assistance of some sort.

    2) I attended the NAMI forum during campaign for DA and Reisig was clearly not in the know. It was quite embarassing to watch/listen to him talk re: mental health, substance abuse, incarceration issues.

    He is not the greatest DA. I’m glad I voted for Pat. If we’re luckly we’ll get someone else next time.

  19. Two points:

    1) The man should obviously be in jail AND getting some mental health assistance of some sort.

    2) I attended the NAMI forum during campaign for DA and Reisig was clearly not in the know. It was quite embarassing to watch/listen to him talk re: mental health, substance abuse, incarceration issues.

    He is not the greatest DA. I’m glad I voted for Pat. If we’re luckly we’ll get someone else next time.

  20. Two points:

    1) The man should obviously be in jail AND getting some mental health assistance of some sort.

    2) I attended the NAMI forum during campaign for DA and Reisig was clearly not in the know. It was quite embarassing to watch/listen to him talk re: mental health, substance abuse, incarceration issues.

    He is not the greatest DA. I’m glad I voted for Pat. If we’re luckly we’ll get someone else next time.

  21. I don’t know about priorities being reversed. I think that the law dictated that the charge of tresspassing would not be sustained. But how about vandalism, what about the harrassment?

    But it does demonstrate that the DA’s Office is not working well with local law enforcement, not working well with the community. The aggressive and relentless prosecution of every little crime, no matter how minor, has been the norm. Also I know that if my son assaulted a police officer, he would receive the full force of the law and years of handling by the justice system. I have no doubt about that. But now, a violent individual who is harassing people and vandalizing property and beating on police officers is not prosecuted at all.

    How confusing.

  22. I don’t know about priorities being reversed. I think that the law dictated that the charge of tresspassing would not be sustained. But how about vandalism, what about the harrassment?

    But it does demonstrate that the DA’s Office is not working well with local law enforcement, not working well with the community. The aggressive and relentless prosecution of every little crime, no matter how minor, has been the norm. Also I know that if my son assaulted a police officer, he would receive the full force of the law and years of handling by the justice system. I have no doubt about that. But now, a violent individual who is harassing people and vandalizing property and beating on police officers is not prosecuted at all.

    How confusing.

  23. I don’t know about priorities being reversed. I think that the law dictated that the charge of tresspassing would not be sustained. But how about vandalism, what about the harrassment?

    But it does demonstrate that the DA’s Office is not working well with local law enforcement, not working well with the community. The aggressive and relentless prosecution of every little crime, no matter how minor, has been the norm. Also I know that if my son assaulted a police officer, he would receive the full force of the law and years of handling by the justice system. I have no doubt about that. But now, a violent individual who is harassing people and vandalizing property and beating on police officers is not prosecuted at all.

    How confusing.

  24. I don’t know about priorities being reversed. I think that the law dictated that the charge of tresspassing would not be sustained. But how about vandalism, what about the harrassment?

    But it does demonstrate that the DA’s Office is not working well with local law enforcement, not working well with the community. The aggressive and relentless prosecution of every little crime, no matter how minor, has been the norm. Also I know that if my son assaulted a police officer, he would receive the full force of the law and years of handling by the justice system. I have no doubt about that. But now, a violent individual who is harassing people and vandalizing property and beating on police officers is not prosecuted at all.

    How confusing.

  25. “At the same time the District Attorney’s office has vigilantly prosecuted many young people, particularly black and Hispanics for non-violent drug possession offenses and yet allowed this man with a long history of violence to be released.”

    David, do you have any evidence that the Yolo DA has more aggressively prosecuted ‘black and Hispanics for non-violent drug possession offenses’ than it has for whites, Asians or other groups?

    If, for example, you selected at random 100 cases in Yolo County where a white person was arrested for a non-violent drug possession offense and 100 other cases where the person arrested for the same type of offenses was black or Hispanic, and the arrestees more or less had the same criminal arrest records, and it were the case that the blacks and Hispanics were prosecuted more aggessively, then your allegation would hold water.

    However, I suspect that you don’t have that evidence. I suspect that you have no evidence whatsoever to throw out this specious charge. Rather, this just sounds like more of your typical calumny.

  26. “At the same time the District Attorney’s office has vigilantly prosecuted many young people, particularly black and Hispanics for non-violent drug possession offenses and yet allowed this man with a long history of violence to be released.”

    David, do you have any evidence that the Yolo DA has more aggressively prosecuted ‘black and Hispanics for non-violent drug possession offenses’ than it has for whites, Asians or other groups?

    If, for example, you selected at random 100 cases in Yolo County where a white person was arrested for a non-violent drug possession offense and 100 other cases where the person arrested for the same type of offenses was black or Hispanic, and the arrestees more or less had the same criminal arrest records, and it were the case that the blacks and Hispanics were prosecuted more aggessively, then your allegation would hold water.

    However, I suspect that you don’t have that evidence. I suspect that you have no evidence whatsoever to throw out this specious charge. Rather, this just sounds like more of your typical calumny.

  27. “At the same time the District Attorney’s office has vigilantly prosecuted many young people, particularly black and Hispanics for non-violent drug possession offenses and yet allowed this man with a long history of violence to be released.”

    David, do you have any evidence that the Yolo DA has more aggressively prosecuted ‘black and Hispanics for non-violent drug possession offenses’ than it has for whites, Asians or other groups?

    If, for example, you selected at random 100 cases in Yolo County where a white person was arrested for a non-violent drug possession offense and 100 other cases where the person arrested for the same type of offenses was black or Hispanic, and the arrestees more or less had the same criminal arrest records, and it were the case that the blacks and Hispanics were prosecuted more aggessively, then your allegation would hold water.

    However, I suspect that you don’t have that evidence. I suspect that you have no evidence whatsoever to throw out this specious charge. Rather, this just sounds like more of your typical calumny.

  28. “At the same time the District Attorney’s office has vigilantly prosecuted many young people, particularly black and Hispanics for non-violent drug possession offenses and yet allowed this man with a long history of violence to be released.”

    David, do you have any evidence that the Yolo DA has more aggressively prosecuted ‘black and Hispanics for non-violent drug possession offenses’ than it has for whites, Asians or other groups?

    If, for example, you selected at random 100 cases in Yolo County where a white person was arrested for a non-violent drug possession offense and 100 other cases where the person arrested for the same type of offenses was black or Hispanic, and the arrestees more or less had the same criminal arrest records, and it were the case that the blacks and Hispanics were prosecuted more aggessively, then your allegation would hold water.

    However, I suspect that you don’t have that evidence. I suspect that you have no evidence whatsoever to throw out this specious charge. Rather, this just sounds like more of your typical calumny.