By Julietta Bisharyan and Lea Barrios
WOODLAND – A woman denied domestic abuse claims in court after making a statement to the police that her husband physically assaulted her and damaged her car.
The defendant, Pedro Ibarra Alvarez, is being charged with two felony counts of corporal injury and a false imprisonment violation, as well as misdemeanor counts for battery on a spouse and contempt of court.
The first witness called to the stand during the preliminary hearing was the alleged victim, Mr. Alvarez’s wife of five years. The two have a young child together and lived separately during the time of the incident. She also had a peaceful no harassment order on him that allowed contact.
On the morning of Oct. 20, 2019, the witness was meeting with the defendant in Woodland to drop off her son. Alvarez wanted his wife to pull over at a Chevron station to speak with her, but she said she declined, stating she only wanted to make the quick exchange. A verbal altercation ensued while the two were still in their separate cars.
The witness recalled his using profanity while asking for their son. She tried to drive off but was unable to, as his truck was blocking her car. He allegedly made aggressive maneuvers to try to corner her vehicle. Eventually, a Chevron employee came outside, and she signaled to him to call the police. The employee went back inside to make the phone call, as she said Alvarez drove off.
Once Officer Lal arrived at the scene, photos of her face were taken, and she filed a protective order against Alvarez. She later drove home.
When asked by Deputy District Attorney Alex Kian about the damages to her rear bumper and side-view mirror, the alleged victim testified to rubbing against something while she was trying to drive off.
Deputy DA Kian also asked about the injuries on her face, but she said she got them two days prior while she was at a J. Balvin concert in San Jose with her friends. According to the witness, on Oct. 18, 2020, her friends were trying to break up a fight at the concert, and she got scratches and bruises on her face.
Since the Chevron incident, there have been no child custody exchanges between the alleged witness and defendant. After two weeks, she received a victim outreach letter in the mail to which she responded.
Prosecutor Kian asked the witness if any of the injuries on her face were from Alvarez either during October 20 or October 18, after the concert. She denied both, stating she does not recall telling Officer Lal that she was ever hit by Alvarez. She also said she did not remember his making any threats or trying to steal her keys.
The People called their second witness, Officer Parveen Lal, the officer who arrived at the Chevron for a harassment violation. He testified that he interviewed her there, and she allegedly said when she was coming home from the concert she saw the defendant driving toward her and they both stopped in the street.
She said the defendant was standing near the driver’s window interrogating her about where she was and who she was with at the concert and poked her face with his finger. She swatted his hands away from her face and the defendant allegedly punched her in the face twice, leaving her with a loose tooth. Officer Lal took photos of her face to obtain evidence of her injuries.
The day the alleged victim and her husband arranged to exchange their child, Officer Lal said she told him the defendant tried to take her keys on her lanyard off of her neck. She also told the officer that the defendant punched the driver’s side mirror making it swing and hit the window, causing it to shatter.
The alleged victim previously had a restraining order allowing contact but prohibiting harassment. After the incident, she obtained an emergency restraining order. It was stated that there is body camera footage of her telling the officer of the defendant’s actions. There were parts of her testimony that she couldn’t recall that were consistent with her interview with the officer, when she stated what the defendant had done.
The court will hold the defendant to answer for both counts. The defense asked for them to be reduced to misdemeanors but the court maintained them as felony charges. The defendant has another domestic abuse incident on his record, so his history of domestic violence prevented his bail to be reduced as well.
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