Insufficient Physical Force, but Sufficient Grounds for Prosecution

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By Ryan Oh

A San Francisco resident named Edward Ramirez found himself facing the potential charge of attempted robbery after allegedly trying to steal a female victim’s purse.

On December 12, 2019, Judge Brendan P. Conroy held a preliminary hearing on Mr. Ramirez’s case in Department 9. The alleged victim was the only one who testified for this case. The victim testified that on November 25, 2019, at approximately 2 p.m., the defendant approached her from behind.

At the time, she was with her friend, just leaving a branch of Bank of America. The specifics concerning the branch’s location were undisclosed, but the court noted that the branch was located in the city and county of San Francisco. The victim continued, stating that the defendant touched the straps of her purse and eventually exerted force as an alleged attempt to steal the purse.

The victim stated that the defendant’s exertion of force caused her body to move “left and right” while the purse fell from her left shoulder to the left arm. Subsequently, the victim stopped resisting against the defendant as she thought that he was pulling out some form of a weapon from his pocket; later, the victim conceded that she had not seen any weapon. When asked about the defendant’s further action, the victim reported that the defendant then stared at her for a moment and verbally cursed her.

The defendant then walked away from the scene and later was arrested and detained by police officers of San Francisco. When asked about her current thoughts regarding the incident, the victim stated that she was still “nervous” these days due to the defendant’s alleged actions.

Reflecting on the testimony, the defense argued that there was insufficient evidence of an attempted robbery.

First, the defense noted that the victim walked away, instead of running, from the scene, which contradicts the typical behavior shown by culprits of robbery and attempted robbery cases.

Second and last, the defense stated that the amount of force was “not great”– the defendant’s alleged exertion of force simply moved the victim’s body “left and right,” indicating that the magnitude of the force was not hard enough to qualify for an attempted robbery.

Despite the defense’s comments, Judge Brendan P. Conroy found sufficient evidence against the defendant and ordered him held to answer for the attempted robbery charge. Mr. Ramirez was ordered to appear for an arraignment in Department 22 on December 26, 2019.


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About The Author

The Vanguard Court Watch puts 8 to 12 interns into the Yolo County House to monitor and report on what happens. Anyone interested in interning at the Courthouse or volunteering to monitor cases should contact the Vanguard at info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org

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