Resisting Arrest or Excessive Force?

Defendant Held on $200,000 Bail Following Beating Taken At Hands of Police

By Marshall Hammons

Thursday, June 13, 2019 — An officer and his partner had the defendant off balance against a patrol car, and then elbowed him in the face.

In a preliminary hearing in Department 9 Thursday morning, Officer Hoge took the stand as a witness. He was there to testify against the defendant.

Under questioning by the prosecutor and later by the Deputy Public Defender, Officer Hoge explained why, not too long ago, he stopped the grey-haired defendant sitting at the table in front of him.

Officer Hoge and his partner were on patrol when they received a call about stolen liquor. The description was a black male in his fifties wearing dark clothes, and the suspect left on a MUNI bus.

Officer Hoge said that the combination of the location of the incident and that description was enough for him to know who it was. Officer Hoge pulled up the defendant’s mug shot, and went to go find him.

Officer Hoge and his partner found the defendant sitting on a sidewalk. They never saw him leave a MUNI bus, nor was he near the location of the incident.

Officer Hoge said the defendant saw the two approach, dropped a pipe and started walking away. Officer Hoge did not mention the defendant having any liquor on him.

Officer Hoge began giving commands for the defendant to return to the sidewalk and stay seated. Officer Hoge’s partner grabbed the defendant’s arm, but the defendant pulled away.

In order to gain control, Officer Hoge’s partner used both hands to push the defendant off balance against their patrol vehicle. Officer Hoge then went to help his partner by elbowing the defendant in the face and sweeping his legs out from under him in almost the same motion.

With the defendant on his back on the ground, Officer Hoge went to gain control of the defendant’s legs because his partner had some control of the defendant’s upper body.

During the “fight,” as Officer Hoge put it, the defendant’s leg came in contact with Officer Hoge’s face. Officer Hoge described his face as feeling “tender.”

Officer Hoge then kneed the defendant three times in the stomach. The “fight” ended when backup arrived and wrestled the defendant into handcuffs.

The defendant in this case had been stopped, pushed against a squad car, almost simultaneously elbowed in the face and tripped, brought onto his back, and yet Officer Hoge still managed to get injured in the altercation.

There was no mention of any stolen items on the defendant’s person. Officer Hoge never saw the defendant on or getting off of a MUNI bus. Maybe if the officers had not resorted to such a drastic assumption, no one would have ever been hurt that day.

In the afternoon, partner Rudy Paredes took the stand – he had only been an officer for seven months at the time of the May 28 incident.

He testified that he commanded the defendant to stop on the curb.  Instead the defendant attempted to walk away.  At this point, he attempted to grab the defendant by the right arm, only to have the defendant pull out of his grip and continue to walk away.

Officer Paredes testified that the defendant was known by the police as a man who would resist arrest – as informed by Officer Hoge.

As the defendant resisted, he swept the legs out from under him.  The defendant continued to yell and refused to obey orders.

At one point, he slapped the side of the officer’s head, who ended up on the ground with bruised knees and cuts to the hands.

In arguments, the defense argued for a reduction of Count 1, the felony resisting arrest by force, PC section 69, to a misdemeanor.  For the purposes of the preliminary hearing the defense conceded sufficient evidence to charge the defendant with the misdemeanor petty theft charges.

The defense pointed out that, under the law, resisting by force requires active resistance rather than just non-compliance.  In this case, he argued his client did not throw a punch, was slammed to the ground where he incurred at least three blows to head, and was kicked and elbowed while on the ground.

He argued that any response to this was “understandable” and there really was no reasonable way of receiving these injuries without some sort of response.

The judge outright rejected the motion under PC section 17B to reduce to a misdemeanor.  She held him to answer for the felony resisting with force.

The defendant had previously been on OR (out on his own recognizance awaiting trial on previous charges), following this arrest on May 28.  OR was revoked and he was held on $200,000 bail.  The judge allowed the bail to remain in place, pending a hearing on June 27 where he would be arraigned on the information.

David Greenwald contributed to this article.

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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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