By Carly Gunn and Kelsey Stewart
The night of Sunday, April 21, was not one filled with laughter and warm spring air, but rather arguments, tears and a physical struggle over a cell phone. The defendant, Eduardo Garcia Torres, was pressuring the alleged victim to look at her phone, in which a physical conflict ensued. During this, the victim accidentally spilled Torres’ beer which led to a greater uproar.
In her effort to leave, Torres blocked the door with his body while moving side to side, which did not allow for the victim to leave. The victim was able to flee through the backdoor, from which she ran into the parking lot hoping to find someone’s phone to borrow. She ran into a neighbor who did not have a phone, but said he would speak with Torres. The victim and the neighbor then went to the gas station to reimburse Torres for the spilled beer. Upon her return with the beer, Torres asked her to take him to his “b****** house”, which was that of his new lover.
After this she took him to his brother’s house in which another altercation occurred. Once the victim dropped Torres off, she left and stopped a couple blocks down to call her brother. Torres then saw her where she was stopped and began arguing once more and asked her what she was doing. Torres then followed her back to her apartment where another dispute took place. He then left and did not stay the night.
Torres returned the following morning, April 22, at about 6am. Torres came to the victim’s bedroom door and demanded she open it. She refused and began to yell at him. Torres then followed with saying he needed to grab some things for work, so she opened the door. He then lay on the bed and the victim left to go to the living room.
Once she was in the living room, the defendant began harassing her about whether she had been seeing someone new. He then, once again, asked for her phone so he could call into work. She firmly said no, which prompted Torres to become angry and upset. The victim then began to change into clothes for the day, and she put her phone on the bed – and Torres then took it.
He refused to give it back, which led to another verbal fight. She took her purse and went to the police station. The station was closed, so the victim waited until it opened. She then left and went to get her son at Torres’ brother’s house and then used his phone to dial 911.
Torres was sleeping at the victim’s house while she was filing this report. The police officers then arrived at her apartment, spoke with Torres for awhile, then they arrested him.
During the victim’s recollection of the events of the 21st and 22nd, she proclaimed that she had severe bruises which lasted about a week after this incident. After his arrest that morning, Torres returned to the victim’s apartment that evening.
The victim’s son notified her that Torres was at the apartment when she was in her bedroom. Torres then threatened to break her door down if she did not open it. She opened it. She tried to leave the room, but he demanded that she sit on the bed.
Torres was very angry and repeatedly asked why she had called the police on him. He then threatened her, stating, “If you’re going to call the police again it’s going to be for a good reason.” The victim said she no longer recognized the man she had once fallen in love with. His words left her scared and unsure.
She then left with her son and went to Empower Yolo. She gave a statement to Officer David Shepard and has not seen or heard from Torres until court.
Deputy Public Defender Richard Van Zandt then cross-examined the alleged victim, asking her about her 2005 arrest. She was arrested and charged with domestic violence, where she scratched Mr. Torres’ arms with a pencil. The victim confirmed these allegations and told Mr. Van Zandt that she did not know how many times she has gone to court in the past few years.
Mr. Van Zandt then questioned why the victim did not let the police know about the physical altercations when she spoke with an officer, as she had previously testified to being bruised from Mr. Torres’ roughness. She answered that, due to stress and anxiety, it was easy for her to forget things.
Mr. Van Zandt then asked the victim whether she took a shower in the time period between the alleged physical altercation on Sunday night and her visiting Empower Yolo on that Monday afternoon. She was not sure, so he asked her what her typical Monday routine would be. She said that she would clean the house, do laundry, and go to the gym, as her son was spending the day at Mr. Torres’ brother’s house. She testified to not showering in that time frame.
The victim was then asked to clarify the story of the April 21 and April 22 events. She restated that Sunday night, April 21, was filled with a series of arguments between her and Mr. Torres, due to his questioning whether she was dating someone new. She left the apartment with Mr. Torres to buy a beer after she accidentally spilled his beer.
After stopping at the Chevron, she drove over to his lover’s house. An argument then started in the car again, and she exited the vehicle. He also exited the vehicle which caused her to get back inside the car and drive back to the apartment.
Monday morning at around 6, Mr. Torres arrived at her residence. He knocked on her bedroom door, and an argument broke out over her phone. He said he needed to use her phone to make a few calls for work as he was going to be late, but he then started checking her conversations and pictures.
He blocked her from exiting through the front, so she exited the apartment through the rear door, where she came across a neighbor who promised to calm Mr. Torres down. She then ended up waiting outside the police station to file a report against Mr. Torres.
After the cross-examination, the court ruled that Mr. Torres will be held responsible to answer for all charges. He has been charged with violating Penal Code sections 140, 236/237, and 273.5. Torres arraignment is scheduled for May 24, 2019.