By Brooke Pritchard
There was a preliminary hearing in Department 13 on a felony charge for resisting an officer with force, under Penal Code section 69. It required four men – 3 police officers and 1 former lieutenant correctional officer – to make a successful arrest.
The preliminary hearing began with Sergeant Jose Hermosillo of Winters taking the stand to explain what happened at 2 pm on April 7. According to his testimony, he was patrolling, looking for an individual who had an active warrant.
After an hour of patrolling, he found the individual walking into an identified vehicle in a Burger King parking lot. Hermosillo immediately exited his car and told the individual that there is was active warrant for his arrest. The individual replied, “You’re not going to arrest me,” and ran into the Burger King. While there was body camera footage for this dispute, the audio did not begin until after the individual began running into the Burger King.
Hermosillo took the individual down to the ground inside the Burger King. Hermosillo contended that the individual was swinging his elbows which caused the back of Hermosillo’s ears to become red. A second officer came to help keep the individual down. Then Hermosillo Tased the back of the individual’s arm, but the Taser wire broke.
The individual began to flee again, running into the connecting shop, ampm. According to Hermosillo, the individual was yelling for his lawyer by name. Hermosillo caught the individual again, as shown in ampm camera surveillance, in the connecting glass door. Three other people came to help with keeping the individual down. The individual was Tased a second time, this time in the lower back.
The defense argued that this should be a misdemeanor case. One reason is the footage does not show that the individual was elbowing Hermosillo since it was out of the shot. However, it was shown that Hermosillo kneed the individual several times and that the other officer was choking the individual after he was Tased the second time. The individual was trying to get away from the officers for his own safety.
The prosecution argued that the individual’s initial comment of “You’re not going to arrest me” displays the intent of the individual to resist his arrest. The elbows and kicks by the individual to Hermosillo were violence, which is enough for this charge to be a felony. The prosecution continued to paint a picture of the individual having been in court several times facing what were felony cases, and only being charged with misdemeanors.
The court ruled that there will be an arraignment for a felony charge on May 24 at 10 am.