By Gianna DeGuzman
Woodland – A man with an outstanding warrant is being tried for two felony counts: infliction of corporal injury on a cohabitant and false imprisonment with force or violence.
On July 8, 2019, Yolo County Patrol Deputy Gary Richter was dispatched on a call for service for an individual sitting on an overpass in a potential suicide attempt. He took the stand to testify his account of the incidents that took place on that day. When he arrived on the scene, the individual in question was in shambles, crying hysterically, breathing heavily, and appearing to be suffering from an anxiety attack whenever she saw the defendant, Eduardo Alejandro Garcia.
The alleged victim, Garcia’s cohabitant, who was romantically involved with him at the time of the incident, reported to Deputy Richter that the altercations began the night before at 10 p.m on July 7, 2019, where she suffered over 15 closed fist punches from Garcia. This altercation came to a pause only when they went to sleep that night. The next morning, the victim accompanied Garcia from Robbins to Woodland to drop off his friend at work.
The tension between the couple began to heat up again when the vehicle broke down, sparking Garcia’s characteristic temper. Seeing familiar signs of his anger, the victim attempted to give him space, when she was grabbed by the arm and forced back into the vehicle. Deputy Richter was told Garcia smacked, kicked, and punched the victim during their argument.
Further escalation occurred after the victim exited the vehicle, when she was grabbed in a bear hug and thrown on the ground on the roadway on a bridge going toward Winters. Being a survivor of past physical abuse, she threw up her hands in an instinctive reaction and scratched Garcia in the process. The defendant accused the victim of sleeping with his friends, then called her various slurs like bitch, slut, and whore. Somewhere along this timeline, he also smashed her phone with a wrench.
This is the point at which the victim stated to Garcia that she was fed up with everything, as she had dealt with too many problems all her life. She had been suffering from clinical depression and anxiety since 2006. She sat on the railing of the bridge and stated that she was going to jump. After feigning to walk away, Garcia came from behind and pulled her off the railing.
Despite the incidents described in the police report, the victim took the stand to request that Garcia would be released immediately on the basis that she lied to Deputy Richter on July 8, 2019. With Spanish being her first language, she claimed that every incident was just a big misunderstanding.
She backtracked to say that the grab was gentle and that she lied about being hit. The victim claimed she was smacked, but just one time and it was to calm her down and clear her mind. He did not bear hug her and throw her to the ground, as previously stated. Instead, she claimed it was a gentle hug to calm her down and she wound up on the ground. When asked how they ended up on the ground, the victim claimed she threw herself onto the floor. Although she hit her head, she did not lose consciousness. She then admitted that they both may have been influenced by their use of methamphetamine on that day.
The defense requested that the two alleged counts be reduced based on mutual combat. They claim that there are indications of Garcia being a strong, hard worker who may need counseling, anger management and drug help, but not felony convictions.
The prosecution argued that the victim was clearly petrified and terrified by the presence of Garcia and potentially altered her recollection of events because of this fear, therefore it is disrespectful to the victim to claim mutual combat.
Judge David Rosenberg ruled that there is sufficient evidence of felony conduct. Despite the victim’s testimony lacking in credibility, Mr. Garcia will be held to answer to the two felony charges.
Arraignment is set for August 8 at 10 a.m. in Department 14.