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Defendant Alleges Illegal Search and Use of Force by Sheriff’s Deputies in Meth Arrest

Cache Creek Casino Surveillance Shows Deputy Hoyt Slam Chase Tinsley into Bus Stop Wall

Cache Creek Casino Surveillance Shows Deputy Hoyt Slam Chase Tinsley into Bus Stop Wall

A Yolo County defendant, Chase Tinsley, was arrested in August of 2013 for possession of 0.06 grams of meth by Yolo County Sheriff’s Deputy Charles Hoyt.  The defendant alleges that Deputy Hoyt conducted an illegal search, and surveillance shows the deputy slamming an apparently compliant subject into the side of a bus stop.

In a motion to suppress evidence on Tuesday, attorney for Mr. Tinsley, Patrick Holstine, argues that the “Yolo County Sheriff’s Deputy in this action, Charles Hoyt, asked Mr. Tinsley for consent to conduct a pat down search for weapons and Mr. Tinsley did not consent.  However, in the Incident Report, Deputy Hoyt reports that Mr. Tinsley consented to the pat down.”

It was during that pat down that Deputy Hoyt discovered “the small red plastic container containing methamphetamine as well as packaged Etizolam tablets.”

Mr. Holstine argues, “Any consent Mr. Tinsley appeared to give to the pat down by not resisting it was involuntary and therefore the contents of the small red plastic container must be suppressed.  Since the pat down was unlawful, so was the discovery of the small red plastic container and its contents, the packaged Etizolam tablets, and so was Mr. Tinsley’s resulting arrest.”

On August 25, 2013, Cache Creek Casino security contacted Deputy Hoyt to report two male subjects standing at a bus stop in a casino parking lot.  Deputy Hoyt arrived at the scene and found Mr. Tinsley and his former boyfriend, Julian Lopez, by the bus stop.  Mr. Lopez was subsequently arrested for Penal Code §647(f), regarding a positive blood test result, while Mr. Tinsley sat at the bus stop and cooperated.

The surveillance video shows an apparently agitated and intoxicated Mr. Lopez in an animated discussion.

Mr. Tinsley told the Vanguard that he had spent the previous two hours attempting to calm down Mr. Lopez until they got home.

“I told him repeatedly I feared the cops were coming and they’d be taking him to jail and there wasn’t anything I could do once they got there,” Mr. Tinsley said.  He explained that he waited around, “the sheriff may need to know something important, especially after it was made clear by the deputy that Mr. Lopez needed medical attention that he never received.”

As Mr. Holstine explains, “After Mr. Lopez was handcuffed, arrested and placed in the back of the patrol car, Deputy Hoyt approached the bus stop area and asked Mr. Tinsley to stand up and Mr. Tinsley cooperated.”

He continued, “Deputy Hoyt asked for consent to do a pat down for weapons, and Mr. Tinsley refused consent but cooperated under duress when Deputy Hoyt asked him to turn around and put his hands on his head.”

His attorney describes his clothing as fitted rather than loose or baggy.  Mr. Tinsley was at least a foot shorter than the deputy.  He has no history or record of violence, and no history or record of the use or possession of weapons.

“Mr. Tinsley was also cooperative throughout as noted by Deputy Hoyt in his report.  However, despite wearing clothing not amenable to hiding weapons, despite offering unwavering cooperation while Deputy Hoyt handcuffed and arrested his former boyfriend Mr. Lopez, despite his peaceful nature and lack of any history or record of violence, use or possession of weapons, and despite being surrounded by a sheriff’s deputy, two security officers and a physical barrier and with his only companion already arrested and handcuffed in the back of the patrol car, Deputy Hoyt apparently still found probable cause to conduct a pat down for weapons without consent,” Mr. Holstine wrote.

Deputy Hoyt claims that “Mr. Tinsley pulled his hand away and attempted to swing away in a rapid manner, requiring Deputy Hoyt to ‘secure’ Mr. Tinsley against the glass portion of the bus stop wall.”

However, the video evidence shows that Mr. Tinsley made “a slight movement when the deputy was patting him down near his left shoulder or armpit, and then appears to show the deputy (who appears to be approximately a foot taller and perhaps a hundred pounds heavier than Mr. Tinsley) grabbing hold of Mr. Tinsley and after moving him several feet proceeding to body slam the diminutive, cooperative, unarmed defendant into the glass of the bus stop.”

At that point, Deputy Hoyt asked Mr. Tinsley if he had a weapon and Mr. Tinsley replied that he did not.

Mr. Holstine writes, “At that point, Deputy Hoyt removed a small red plastic container about the size of a quarter from Mr. Tinsley’s front left pants pocket, something so small that it even if visible through Mr. Tinsley’s fitted clothing that no reasonable person would mistake it for a weapon.”

Mr. Tinsley told the Vanguard, “I’ve been taught my rights for quite some time.”  He said that, while he was caught off guard by the Deputy’s treatment of him, he “still knew enough to clearly tell him no.”

Deputy Hoyt asked why and Mr. Tinsley explained about his Fifth Amendment rights.

Mr. Tinsley stated, “He proceeded with telling me stand up and put my hands on my head as he felt his life was in danger and even if I didn’t want to be searched he had the right to frisk me for weapons.”

The surveillance appears to be from the casino, and the patrol dash cam footage was never turned on with audio.

However, a recording from dispatch informed Deputy Hoyt, “He is on informal, non-searchable probation for a DUI.”  It is difficult to hear exactly what Deputy Hoyt said, but it was something along the lines of “10-4 that, he’ll be mine in a second.”

Mr. Tinsley told the Vanguard, “Even when I was handcuffed after my face and body being torpedoed into that bus stop, the deputy led me to believe I was not and would not be going to jail that night, as long as I cooperated.”

Mr. Tinsley’s hearing to suppress the evidence will be heard at 10 am on Tuesday in Department 8.  The base crime is possession of meth and he would be eligible for PC §1000 alternative sentencing.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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About David Greenwald

David 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.

36 comments

  1. Reminiscent of the San Francisco White Night riots. Sad.

  2. If a rich white guy in a brand new Lexus was leaving the casino after too many grey goose screwdrivers, I wonder if the cop would body slam him, during the course of the dui arrest?

  3. Maybe if the rich white guy was gay…..

    • If they found meth on the rich white guy……………

      • They never would have gotten into position to find meth on the rich white guy

        • Since as usual some posters have dragged race into this, Mr. Tinsley looks white in the video. How did the cops know if he was gay and rich or not?

          • Davis Progressive

            yeah but you’re also ignoring key things here.

            1. his friends is the one acting intoxicated, not him
            2. his friends is put into the car and he’s sitting patiently and compliently on the bench
            3. he declines consent for the search
            4. the officer lies about the pretext for slamming him into the wall
            5. he does a pat down and finds the meth, the defense argues that this is an illegal search

          • D.P., that’s not what we’re talking about. Try following the thread.

          • Davis Progressive

            i don’t recall you being the forum moderator.

          • It’s formatted like you were responding to my post. Was your post in reponse to me or not?

  4. Are motions to suppress ever successful in Yolo’s courts?

    Does Sheriff Prieto ignore illegal behavior by his deputies?

  5. Expensive vodka can do just as much damage as meth.

  6. This is why police officers need to be wired with video and audio. There is no way of knowing who is telling the truth here. The fact that the detective can ask to pat you down for weapons then arrest you for drugs shouldn’t be allowed.

    • Themis wrote:

      > This is why police officers need to be wired with video and audio.
      > There is no way of knowing who is telling the truth here.

      I have always been a fan of having cops recording audio and video when they are working.

      Cops lie and so do meth users, but my main point is that many (but not all) cops will beat just about anyone (white black, rich poor, gay or straight) that makes them mad.

      If we showed the great educational video below in the schools we would have less people getting beat by the cops:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uj0mtxXEGE8

      If this guy watched (and took the great advice) in the video he would have left his drugs at home and not hung out with a crazy drunk friend.

  7. The search is interesting. He was compliant, apparently not a threat, and I don’t see why the police officer needed to search him, when his friend was already in tow and his violation was what … drunk in public? This seems to be a problem.

    However, when he starts to move his arm, that is not something cops like. When they ask you to comply, comply. At that point it is not a democracy. If you’ve ever watched a police training video or expert, their life can be taken in seconds… and I mean 2 or 3 seconds.

    • Davis Progressive

      yeah but the cop in his report greatly exaggerated what he did. he kind of moved his arm, not suddenly, just moved it. the cop claimed… “Deputy Hoyt claims that “Mr. Tinsley pulled his hand away and attempted to swing away in a rapid manner, requiring Deputy Hoyt to ‘secure’ Mr. Tinsley against the glass portion of the bus stop wall.”” that clearly didn’t happen as the deputy described.

    • See my reply below. Thanks.

  8. However, when he starts to move his arm, that is not something cops like. When they ask you to comply, comply. At that point it is not a democracy. If you’ve ever watched a police training video or expert, their life can be taken in seconds… and I mean 2 or 3 seconds.

    An unarmed ER nurse can have her life taken in 3 seconds. A politician’s aide can have his life taken at the Safeway in AZ in 3 seconds. A firefighter can have his life taken in 3 seconds. An insurance adjuster, discussing a psyche claim with an angry man, can have her life taken. A journalist who pisses off someone can have their life taken. Many, many professions are dangerous, and most people are not heavily armed in their daily life, the way cops are armed. If you don’t feel like you live in an American democracy when an American peace officer confronts you, something is very wrong in America.

    • Are you really saying that these other professions, except to a degree a fireman, are anything close to being as dangerous as being a cop?

      • Barack Palin

        In the case of the ER nurse, yes, depending upon where the ER is located. I have personally seen ER nurses threatened with knives. I have personally had an individual on drugs have his hands pulled from around my neck by a very large male resident on call with me. I personally was told to “step aside” by a 350 angry male patient with both fists balled up who had just pulled out his IV and decided that despite the bullet wound from which he was dripping blood all over the floor, that he was leaving. I complied without comment and documented his departure AMA. These were in Fresno and Tucson Arizona. Yes, being an ER nurse can definitely be a dangerous job in a high violence area.

        • Re: dangerous professions: in the late 80′s and most of the 90′s I worked as a workers comp insurance adjuster. Many of those years I saw high cost disability claims. Most professions can turn extremely dangerous in a matter of seconds. For example, look at that young teacher back east who was murdered by one of her students.
          Every job has risks. But most workers are not heavily armed when they get dressed in the morning. The uniform. badge and weapons are often (not always) a reminder that the officer deserves your respect. The officer does not usually need to remind a citizen by body slamming them.
          A Tucson, Arizona officer was recently caught on camera body-slamming a U of A college student into a bench. In the video, she was dressed in light, summer clothing (no hidden weapons), was holding a red plastic cup (both hands in plain sight) and was trying to get away from a crowd of unruly students by walking with some friends to her car. My guess is she weighed 100 – 120 pounds. Not sure it was necessary for the cop to body slam her.

  9. Barack Palin

    “D.P., that’s not what we’re talking about. Try following the thread.”

    Respectfully, the thread is the sum of what individual posters want to talk about.
    No one has monopoly on the conversation or how it should go aside from some very broad guidelines about staying at least somewhat on topic. To the best of my understanding, no one here has yet introduced any comment that was not appropriate to the overall topic.

    • I suggest to you that you go back and read how the conversation was developing. D.P.’s response to my post had nothing to do with what I, David and D.D. were discussing at the time.

      • Barack Palin

        So, I did what your suggested and went back and read that portion of the thread.
        DP started by acknowledging your points by saying “yeah but you’re also ignoring key things here.” The “yeah” would imply that he has noted your points, and now would like to introduce some other points of his/her own. It would seem to me to be completely within bounds to acknowledge and then introduce new ideas.

  10. Themis and South of Davis

    “Themis wrote:

    > This is why police officers need to be wired with video and audio.
    > There is no way of knowing who is telling the truth here.

    I have always been a fan of having cops recording audio and video when they are working.

    Cops lie and so do meth users”

    So we seem to have complete agreement across all ends of the Vanguard ideologic spectrum on this point.
    We have the current technology to completey do away with the “he said, he said” aspect of our legal system.
    It is my feeling that it would be very cost effective in terms of eliminating some judicial procedures altogether and making others much more efficient in terms of both time and money if all police interactions were recorded with both audio and visual thus eliminating most of the discrepancies in people’s admittedly faulty recollections, even if they were not purposefully lying. This would include all stops, detentions, voluntary conversations, arrests and interrogations.

    • Tia wrote:

      > It is my feeling that it would be very cost effective in terms of
      > eliminating some judicial procedures altogether

      The cost per cop is less than a couple hours overtime and it would save MILLIONS in legal cost, but just like with Illegal immigration where the Democrats want the votes and the Republicans want the cheap labor we will never get cameras on cops since the cops (and pro cop Republicans) don’t want video of a cop beating someone who “deserves it” and the defense attorneys (and pro poor people “forced” in to crime Democrats) don’t want anyone trying to kill a cop recorded on video…

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