By Arianna Medina
Woodland – The defense claimed it was a mere bar brawl, but the police officer and witness testimony revealed critical details about the assault that led Judge Dave Rosenberg to officialize the charges against the defendant and bring forth a trial.
Daniel Patrick Archuleta, Jr., was charged on felony counts of assault by force and battery with serious bodily injury after an altercation at a West Sacramento bar. At the preliminary hearing, the prosecution called forth its first and only witness, Officer Dave Asaro. Officer Asaro has been with West Sacramento Police Department for five years and testified that on April 13, 2019, he was dispatched to Cheers Bar on West Capitol Avenue in West Sacramento, responding to a call about a fight. He testified that, upon arriving to the scene, West Sacramento Fire and emergency medical responders were treating the faces of the alleged victims.
According to Officer Asaro, the male alleged victim appeared dazed and intoxicated and had blood on his face. The alleged victim claimed he had been at the bar with his friend and that he was too drunk to drive, so he went and waited for his friend in the passenger side of the vehicle. His friend, the female alleged victim, had gotten into an altercation with someone outside the bar near the vehicle. According to the officer, the female claimed to have been leaving the bar and walking toward her vehicle when a man standing outside the bar “made a comment” about stealing the car. The alleged victim proceeded to call the man an “a**hole” and the perpetrator then “pushed her down twice.”
According to Officer Asaro, who had consulted with other officers on the scene who were interviewing witnesses outside the bar, two blonde, white female subjects approached the female victim and repeatedly punched and kicked her. The male alleged victim then “became aware” of this altercation when the male perpetrator came up to him, punched him repeatedly, and attempted to drag him out of the car. Officer Asaro further testified that the male victim had blood on his face, his face was swollen, and both alleged victims claimed to have broken noses.
The defense objected to the statement of these facts, asserting they had no discovery of these other injuries. They requested this evidence be struck from the record and excluded. The prosecutor claimed to have received news about these injuries just recently himself, and insisted he honestly forgot to file it in discovery and share it with the defense. The defense further argued that there was a delay at the beginning of the hearing, as they were waiting on the transfer of the defendant, in which ample time was provided for the prosecution to share this discovery with the defense, and claimed the prosecutor deliberately waited until oral arguments to present this information. The judge agreed with the defense and granted the objection.
The prosecution proceeded to question the officer and asked him to describe the scene again. Asaro’s account recollected the alleged victim being dazed and not fully alert, and also mentioned evidence the victim had vomited. Asaro also recounted that the female alleged victim sustained several injuries to her face, and there appeared to be a “lump on her eye,” which was swollen. Asaro was then questioned about the state of the vehicle, and he mentioned there was a fresh dent on the driver’s side of the vehicle. He described it to be a “medium-sized dent,” about six inches across.
When asked about the proceedings after these events, Officer Asaro testified that another officer had created a “six-pack line up” of suspects to show the female alleged victim. A photograph of the defendant, Daniel Archuleta, was included in the line-up and the female victim readily identified him. Asaro also testified that another interviewed witness claimed to have seen Archuleta instigate the attack, and the two females with him slammed the female victim’s head into the car and repeatedly punched and kicked her. The prosecution rested and the defense was allowed to cross-examine the witness.
The defense argued that even though Archuleta got into a fight with the male alleged victim, he never kicked or punched the female alleged victim, and therefore did not cause great bodily harm to the female. The defense further offered that the injury to the female victim’s eye could have been caused by the two females who were attacking her, one of which happens to be in a relationship with Archuleta. The prosecution had claimed the alleged victims did not place their hands on the defendant and that this was an unprovoked attack. The defense concluded by re-stating that it was not Archuleta who caused great bodily harm to the female victim, rather the two other females, and because he has no previous criminal record he should not be held on a felony count.
The judge ruled that this was not just a bar fight, but rather an unprovoked attack in which Archuleta and the two females were “acting in consort.” He reasoned the male alleged victim was attacked in an unprovoked way and the punches he received to the head were dangerous, as he was intoxicated, vulnerable, and could not defend himself. Furthermore, inference can be drawn that the dents in the female victim’s car were caused by the bashing of her head. The judge ruled Archuleta’s case should go to trial and and the defendant should answer both charges as felonies. However, because of his record, he was to be released on supervised O.R. with a G.P.S., ordered to stay away from bars, and is to have no contact with the other defendant or the alleged victims.
The arraignment will be on October 18, 2019, at 10am.