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Attempted Repo Gone Wrong

repoby Ibraham Dbouk

On the afternoon of July 28, 2014, defendant Gregory Cash appeared with attorney Bob Spangler in Department 8 of the Yolo County Courthouse for his preliminary hearing.

Mr. Cash, who is still detained, is being charged on two separate cases. The first case had two counts, one of which is felony possession of methamphetamine and the other being misdemeanor driving with a suspended license. The second case had one count which is assault with a deadly weapon.

Regarding the first case, Mr. Cash was driving westbound on West Capitol Avenue in West Sacramento on September 5, 2013, at approximately 1:30 AM. He was driving a tan Ford Explorer with no plates or registration and was pulled over by officer Daniel Gill of West Sacramento. The initial stop was for the reasons previously stated, but Gill claimed that he smelled alcohol on the defendant’s breath. Mr. Cash complied with an alcohol test and blew a .05, which in the state of California is within the legal limit.

Officer Gill said he was going to bring a K9 outside the vehicle to check for anything illegal. The K9 signaled that he had found something, and upon a search the officer found .2 grams of a substance which was later tested to be methamphetamine on the floor behind the driver seat. The car was impounded and Mr. Cash was arrested and charged with possession of methamphetamine, a felony.

In his defense, Mr. Cash had stated that he just bought the vehicle and had no idea the substance was in there. While on the witness stand, Officer Gill stated that “he could have turned around and dropped the meth.” The defense objected due to speculation, which was overruled. Mr. Spangler asked Officer Gill if he had asked Mr. Cash for a blood test, to which he replied, “No.”

The defense requested to drop the felony down to a misdemeanor due to the petty amount of the substance, and to the lack of evidence that it belonged to him. The request was declined due to prior prison convictions.

The next case regarding the assault with a deadly weapon occurred during the time Mr. Cash was supposed to initially appear for the possession of methamphetamine charge. One of the two repossession men took the stand and told the story:

He stated that he had spotted a vehicle that the repo company had been looking to repossess for a long time. He contacted some of the references that the man leasing the car, Mr. Cash, had left during the transaction. One of the references strongly advised the repo man to bring law enforcement during the repo attempt. He complied and, upon arriving at Mr. Cash’s house at around 11:30 pm, there were two officers parked in a squad car outside of the home. Once the tow truck backed up toward the vehicle, Mr. Cash ran outside with a “stick” of unknown material approximated to be about 3 feet in length and 1 inch in width and swung it at the witness yelling, “You are not going to take my car!” The witness ducked and began to run back toward the street, yelling, “This is a repo! “This is a repo!”

Once the repo man made it to the street he received the attention of the officers who “quickly ran out of the squad car and apprehended Mr. Cash within 3-4 seconds after the altercation reached the street.”

During cross-examination by the defense, Mr. Spangler asked if the squad car could be seen from the driveway.

The repo man stated that the driveway stretched back behind the home, so the vehicle was about 30 feet from the squad car and may have been out of sight.

He asked if the “weapon” ever flexed during the swing, and the repo man said, “I am not sure.”

Mr. Spangler asked to drop the felony charge to a misdemeanor because no one was struck, and because the “stick” is not a deadly weapon, as “we are not even sure what it even is.”

The judge declined by saying, “It could have poked someone’s eye out.”

The judge was willing to resolve the case and went back into chambers with both counsel to come to an agreement. It was not revealed what the deal was just yet, but it didn’t sound too good because, once it was discussed with Mr. Cash in the holding room, you could hear him break into tears.

He was granted a couple days to think about the plea deal, and the decision will be made by this Thursday at 9:00 AM in Department 8.

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About Vanguard Court Watch Interns

The Vanguard Court Watch puts 8 to 12 interns into the Yolo County House to monitor and report on what happens. Anyone interested in interning at the Courthouse or volunteering to monitor cases should contact the Vanguard at info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org

19 comments

  1. Offering Balance

    “It was not revealed what the deal was just yet, but it didn’t sound too good because once it was discussed with Mr. Cash in the holding room, you could hear him break into tears.”

    Given Mr Cash’s apparent felony criminal history and inability to refrain from assaulting people with sticks this actually sounds like a good deal.

  2. I am going to play devil’s advocate here. I will start by saying that from the information provided Mr. Cash does not appear to be your standard law abiding, upstanding citizen. But let’s set that aside and look at the facts as presented in the article.

    1. With regard to no plates and no registration it would seem to be a justified stop.
    2. The “smelling of alcohol” is a reasonable reason for the breathalyzer test, which Mr. Cash passed.
    Now things getting more troubling from my perspective.
    3. What was the indication for the K-9 search ?
    4. What ties Mr. Cash to the methamphetamine other than the pure speculation that he “could have just turned around and dropped the meth” ? Could it not also be the case that the meth was left behind by the previous owner ? What about innocent until proven guilty ? Does this no longer apply if you have a history of incarceration ?

    As for the repo case, I have very mixed feelings. The article does not state if Mr. Cash received any advance notice that his vehicle was subject to repossession. I would think that a situation like this could easily be avoided by ensuring that an owner knew of the planned repossession and was essentially given an “appointment” for when the car would be repossessed. This would avoid any possible confusion about why someone was driving off with their car. While I would virtually never condone violence in defense of a possession ( as opposed to protecting an innocent life) I can understand the urge to protect what one owns from what one perceives as theft. Does anyone know how repossession companies work and if Mr. Cash would have received notification ?

    • La pace sia con voi.

      The DA believes you are guilty until proven innocent. Even then, they sure hate to admit they or anyone in law enforcement did not have probable cause to harass.

  3. Tia wrote:

    > I would think that a situation like this could easily be avoided by ensuring that
    > an owner knew of the planned repossession and was essentially given an
    > “appointment” for when the car would be repossessed.

    It is expensive to send a “repo man” and they ALWAYS ask for the car back first (many times the guy has been ignoring calls and letters and not paying for half a year before the repo man is sent out).

    > While I would virtually never condone violence in defense of a possession
    > ( as opposed to protecting an innocent life) I can understand the urge to
    > protect what one owns from what one perceives as theft.

    Do you really think that a guy who has not made a car payment for months, got a dozen letters and calls (including calls to his friends) telling him that they were going to come repo the car thinks that a guy in a tow truck is “stealing” his car?

    P.S. We are going to read a lot more stories like this in the next few years as the subprime auto loan bubble pops:
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-20/buying-car-was-worst-decision-i-ever-made-subprime-auto-loan-bubble-bursts

    • Once, in a much saner time, a repo man allegedly mistook my new Norton Commando for one he allegedly had paper on. He did not ask, but in fact broke my back gate and was attempting to walk the bike out of the yard and up a ramp to a waiting pickup truck. Hearing and seeing what was going on, I went out of my front door and blocked his retreat. When he flashed his dime-store badge and a wad of papers, I called BS, having the pink slip in my file cabinet. He tried to “muscle” me, a serious mistake in 1974. We both waited for the police, though I was a bit more comfortable than he was, tied up in a figure-four leg lock. The police arrived, I let him up, to spew his bs story and showed the cops my pink slip, before swearing out a citizen’s arrest for trespassing, burglary and assault and battery. Ultimately I dropped the charges after he showed sufficient financial remorse, but would happily defend myself and others to the fullest allowable extent against these locusts of the streets.

      • Biddlin

        Thanks for ” the rest of the story”.
        Good thing that none of this was happening in a “stand your ground state” !

        • Offering Balance

          What does that have to do with anything?

          • La pace sia con voi.

            Stand your ground- the guy could have shot him…

            Here’s another police story, off topic, sorry. Glad at least one of those 6 or 7 cops is not getting away with this. How many cops are necessary in this situation? He was overweight, looks to be out of shape, and unarmed. But better put him in a choke hold & kill him, just to be sure.
            (All those cops couldn’t defend themselves against one unarmed, fat black guy? He was even telling them, with his face crushed on the sidewalk, that he couldn’t breathe! Witnesses to prove it.)

            the vehicle was about 30 feet from the squad car and may have been out of sight.

          • La pace sia con voi.

            * I should have placed this sentence at the beginning, not the end: “the vehicle was about 30 feet from the squad car and may have been out of sight.” *

            Also, this was missing:

            http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/01/justice/new-york-choke-hold-death/

        • Sounds like he did stand his ground.

    • La pace sia con voi.

      Interesting that law enforcement didn’t just park in plain sight. What were they hiding from? Their behavior sounds very suspicious.

      • LPSCV wrote:

        > Interesting that law enforcement didn’t just park in plain sight.

        I’m betting that the “references” did not say exactly “I strongly advise you to bring law enforcement” that probably said something like “he is a crazy meth head that will kill anyone trying to take his car”. If you think someone is violent it is not a good idea to park where they can see you (and take a clean shot with a hunting rifle)…

    • South of Davis

      No, I do not think that. But then I know absolutely nothing about how re pros are conducted. That was why I was asking.

  4. Rich RifkinWDE 73

    “Mr. Cash was driving westbound on West Capitol Blvd. in West Sacramento.”

    No, he was not. Mr. Cash more likely was driving westbound on West Capitol Avenue in West Sacramento.

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