By Arianna Medina
Woodland – Back in 2016, a man was banned from Cache Creek Casino near Woodland after allegedly getting into an altercation with a host; three years later, he returns again and is arrested for trespassing.
On April 9, 2019, the defendant, Amanullah Yusufi, was charged with one misdemeanor count of trespassing at a licensed gambling establishment. The defendant frequented this casino so much that he was a part of an exclusive members club eligible for certain rewards. On Jan. 8, 2016, the defendant got into a verbal disagreement with a casino host over benefits the defendant believed he was entitled to. The defendant allegedly threw an object at the host and made verbal threats, security was called and he was to be escorted out of the building and made to fill out an “exclusion from property” form. However, the defendant angrily left the property before he had a chance to sign the paperwork.
Three months later, on March 9th, 2016, the defendant returned to the establishment, was quickly apprehended by security again, and this time made to sign the exclusion paperwork. 3 years later, on April 9, 2019, the defendant believed he was free to return to the casino. He went, was arrested and was charged with trespassing. He pleaded not guilty to these charges and today council began with their opening statements.
The prosecution began by explaining how they expect to prove the defendant violated the law. The prosecution claimed that according to their witnesses, the casino host had a verbal altercation with the defendant on January 8. The prosecutor also alluded to video evidence and recordings of the defendant throwing the alleged object at the host and making these verbal threats. The prosecution argues that when the security guards tried to escort the defendant off the premises and give him the casino’s “exclusion from property” form, the defendant was upset and did not take or sign it.
The prosecution recounts how the defendant later returned on March 9th, checking in to a neighboring establishment that was also managed by the Cache Creek company. The State argued how on this date he was approached by security and made to sign the exclusion form, yet three years later he visits the establishment for a third time. The prosecution concluded by asking the jury to hold the defendant accountable for these charges.
The defense countered by claiming that on January 8, when the defendant got into the verbal disagreement with the host and security was called, the defendant tried to tell security his side of the story. They argue how the defendant claims security had no interest in what he had to say, furthermore, the defendant believes he was being treated unfairly; which is why he left the premises without looking at any forms security was handing to him. The defense further argued that when the defendant returned three months later, on March 9, he did not know he was on the “excluded persons” list. They claim that while the defendant was approached by security again and made to sign the paperwork, he did not read it at any great detail. The defense concluded that on April 9, 2019, Mr. Yusifi’s friend wanted to go back to the establishment and because it had been more than the 90-day reinstatement period, he believed he was free to return. They argue the defendant did not try to conceal his identity and ask the jury to acquit him of the charges.
After opening arguments, the State called its first witness, a security guard at the casino. According to his testimony, on January 8, the host asked for his help in the south part of the casino. He testified to having a conversation with the defendant soon after, where he informed Yusufi he was going to be “excluded” from the casino. He also testified to asking the defendant if he threatened anyone. According to the report he filled out, the defendant did admit to throwing an object at the host.
The witness testified that he did not tell Yusufi when he could return to the casino and that he did try to give him the exclusion paperwork, but did not get the chance to. Furthermore, he testified that when he attempted to explain to Yusufi the paperwork, he became argumentative and claimed he would call his lawyer. The witness claims he did not call the Sheriff after or report the incident because Yusufi did leave the property.
The State then called its second witness, another security guard at the casino. According to his testimony, on March 9, 2016, he approached the defendant and explained to him the exclusion form. He testifies that the defendant did sign these exclusion forms and he was notified of the 90 day reinstatement period. At this point, the state offered to submit evidence and played surveillance video in which recorded the defendant conversing with the security guard. In the video, the defendant is seen holding the exclusion forms.
The defense cross-examined the witness by asking him questions about the language he used, arguing that the language of the reinstatement rule is unclear. The defense concluded that it was unclear whether or not the defendant was allowed back after 90 days, or whether he had to wait 90 days until he could be eligible for reinstatement.
The court is expected to continue with witness examination tomorrow October 22nd at 9:00 in the morning in Department 11.