Bike Seat Used as Deadly Weapon

By Kristen Tuntland

The Honorable David Rosenberg decided that a bike seat could be deemed a deadly weapon in the preliminary hearing of Dennis Lee Galbreath. Mr. Galbreath is charged with battery on a person and using a deadly weapon in front of a local comic book store in Davis. Two witnesses, the father and his son who own the comic book store, and Officer Tony Dias were called to testify about an altercation on January 15, 2019, around 5:45pm.

The son testified that he heard the defendant yell “f**k you” very loudly and aggressively from right outside the store. His dad yelled back to the defendant to leave or that he’ll call the police. When the dad returned into the store, the defendant followed him inside and started yelling and rambling. The defendant then left the store very aggressively. The son called the non-urgent police number and followed the defendant outside to get a description of the defendant while he was gathering his belongings. However, he did not approach the defendant and stayed next to the door of the store.

The defendant came back yelling at the son within inches of his face and left his bike nearby. All three were yelling at each other and slowly moving toward the next business. His father went outside and accidentally knocked over the defendant’s bike. The defendant then punched the father with his right fist and punched the son next.

The defendant undid the seat from his bike and threw the rest of the bike at the father and son but did not hit them. At this point, the father drew a hammer from his pocket. The son approached the defendant within arm’s reach, but keeping his hands lowered. However, the defendant used the bike seat to strike the left side of the son’s face twice. The son testified that, after the defendant ran away, he ran after the defendant. The father followed suit, still with the hammer in hand. The son went to the doctor a few hours later with bruising and a concussion.

The father testified next. From inside the store, he could hear and see the defendant yelling right outside the store. He had also seen the defendant around the store previously, but he had never acted like this before. The father walked outside the store to tell the defendant to leave but the defendant started yelling at him. He threatened to call the police and went back inside the store. The defendant followed him inside, rambling. Once he left, the father proceeded to call the police.

After his son walked outside to keep an eye on him, he heard the defendant yell “what the f**k are you looking at?” The dad then put a hammer in his pocket and went outside. The defendant was yelling at his son and he stepped in to start yelling back, moving farther away from the door of the comic store. He accidentally backed into the bike and knocked it over with his right leg.

After it fell over, the defendant punched his lower right jaw. He fell and his glasses flew off, and he stayed crouching to look for them. The defendant then punched the son, so the father stood up without glasses and drew his hammer. Additionally, the defendant already had the bike seat in his hand when the father drew the hammer. The defendant swung the bike seat at the son twice.

Officer Tony Dias of the Davis Police Department testified last. He took a statement from a person who saw the altercation while walking to the business next door. All three were engaged in a verbal altercation when the defendant punched the father with a closed fist. He also saw the defendant throw the bike at the father and son. He saw the father hold the hammer after the defendant struck the son with the bike seat.

Officer Dias also stated that the bike seat was four to five pounds with a pole one inch in diameter. It is five to six inches at its widest and six to seven inches at its longest. The top of the bike seat is cushioned but the bottom is plastic with a metal frame.

Deputy Public Defender Jose Gonzales-Vazquez for the defense argued that the bike seat would have to cause death or close to death in order for it to be a deadly weapon. However, the prosecution argued that nothing gave the defendant the right to strike the son twice with a bike seat, and the bike seat was being used outside of its function.

Judge Rosenberg held there is enough evidence to charge Mr. Galbreath with both charges, and the use of a bike seat as a deadly weapon is a question for the jury.

Arraignment will be held on February 19 at 10 AM.

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About The Author

The Vanguard Court Watch operates in Yolo, Sacramento and Sacramento Counties with a mission to monitor and report on court cases. Anyone interested in interning at the Courthouse or volunteering to monitor cases should contact the Vanguard at info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org - please email info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org if you find inaccuracies in this report.

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