By Gloria Ho
On January 20, 2017, Judge Paul Richardson presided over the preliminary hearing of the People v. Darren Dade Dockter, Jr., in Department 13. Mr. Dockter is accused of a series of indecent exposure incidents.
The People called their witness, Detective Kimberly Walker, to testify. She’s been with the Davis Police Department since 2007 and explained how she was involved in the investigation of Mr. Dockter. Detective Walker was with Lieutenant Paul Doroshov and another officer at the time when they took the defendant into custody at his workplace, Roseville Dodge, after taking his statement on January 2, 2017. He was booked at Yolo County Jail following his arrest.
On November 16, 2016, the alleged victim and second-year student at UC Davis, “JT,” was biking downtown to Davis Ace Hardware to have a key made when she said she noticed a familiar minivan that she had seen previously, in the fall of 2015. It was a light green Chrysler Voyager van, meeting the description of one registered under the defendant’s name.
During the previous fall season, JT said she was biking downtown on 3rd Street, approaching G Street, when her cellphone fell to the ground. When she bent down to pick it up, she noticed there was a green van pulling up behind her that was following her and she decided to turn around on 3rd Street. The driver continued to follow her and started waving at her. The alleged victim said that he had his pants unzipped, driving with his left hand on the steering wheel while his right hand was on his naked erect penis.
“She said that it creeped her out,” Detective Walker testified after answering a series of questions from Deputy District Attorney Matt De Moura that revealed the victim’s account of what happened.
When JT noticed the Chrysler Voyager van in the parking lot on November 16, the driver started waving at her to get her attention and she saw that his pants were again unzipped with his genitals out in the open and his right hand moving up and down on his penis.
The complaining witness went into the store to make her key and additionally bought pepper spray for protection. When she left the store, she saw that the van was still in the parking lot and was backing out. It followed her out of the parking area and she quickly rode down 3rd St. toward the UC Davis campus.
Detective Walker revealed that another witness, “CW,” had allegedly seen Mr. Dockter exposing himself indecently in public. It was around 1:00pm when CW’s attention was drawn to the intersection of 3rd and F Streets, because he saw two cars about to collide as he stood on the northwest corner on 3rd St. The Chrysler Voyager van was turning westbound on 3rd St. when CW saw that the driver was masturbating with his right hand while steering with his left hand.
“He was shocked that a person can drive and masturbate at the same time. He thought it was bizarre,” Det. Walker answered when the People asked what CW’s reaction was to the defendant exposing his private parts in public.
When the defendant was interviewed at his workplace in Roseville on January 2, 2017, he admitted to the incidents and let on that there were more similar incidents that occurred in the downtown area of Davis. Mr. Dockter, a mechanic at Roseville Dodge, spent his lunchtime driving around downtown Davis and waving at females he found attractive to get their attention while masturbating.
“He enjoyed the attention of attractive females and it made him more aroused,” Det. Walker testified. In the police report, the defendant mentioned that it was “thrilling” and that his type was any “attractive female of age.”
The cross-examination began as Deputy Public Defender Richard Van Zandt questioned the witness on the type of car and the license plate number. Det. Walker told the court that both witnesses remembered the license plate number and they were identical. However, only the alleged victim was able to pick Mr. Dockter out of the photo lineup. CW was not able to identify the defendant in the photo lineup.
“Did she tell you at any point that she related that incident to other people beside you?” Mr. Van Zandt questioned the witness. Detective Walker said she didn’t know if the alleged victim had told anybody else about the incident.
The witness was then excused and stepped off the stand.
The People submitted Exhibit 1, a certified rap sheet, to the court. The defense did not enter any evidence but argued for the defendant to be released because he had a wife and child at home.
“I’m implying that this is at worst a felony probation case,” Mr. Van Zandt argued after Judge Richardson held the defendant to answer for the charge of willfully and lewdly exposing private parts in any public place, Penal Code section 314.1.
“His behavior and conduct is disturbing,” Mr. De Moura disagreed, as he made his argument for keeping Mr. Dockter in custody.
The court denied the defense’s request for pre-trial release, because the defendant had picked up two cases too soon after just finishing his one-year of summary probation for a similar act, a misdemeanor indecent exposure in Sacramento County in September of 2016.
The arraignment is set for Friday, February 3, 2017, at 10:00am in Department 13 with Judge Paul Richardson presiding.