By Emma Phillips
WOODLAND – Christopher Avelar allegedly hurled a brick—and racial slurs—at another man earlier in September when the victim said he couldn’t share any marijuana because he didn’t use it. Avelar will stand trial for assault after his preliminary hearing this week in Yolo County Superior Court.
Deputy District Attorney Deanna Hays called to the stand West Sacramento Police Officer Guillermo Zuniga, who said he responded to a call Sept. 5 from the victim, an African American male, at a Kwik Mart in West Sacramento.
Upon arriving at the scene of the incident, Officer Zuniga saw the victim and a brick next to him, but no visible injuries upon first inspection.
The officer noted the victim explained Avelar approached him while he was eating breakfast by himself outside the Kwik Mart when the defendant asked him for marijuana. The victim claimed he did not have any marijuana because that was not something he did, which caused Mr. Avelar to respond, “Yes, you do because all n*****s do.”
When the victim asked the defendant not to address him with this racial slur, Avelar allegedly, according to the officer, challenged the victim to fight, which is when Avelar picked up a brick from the ground and threw it at the victim, hitting him in the left shoulder.
Zuniga said there were not any physical injuries on the victim caused by the brick, but he did describe his pain as a “10” on a scale from one to 10. The officer said there was also a chunk missing from the wall directly behind the victim where the brick was thrown, seemingly confirming that there was a brick thrown during the altercation.
The victim positively identified Avelar as the attacker to Zuniga, who arrested him. On the way to jail, Avelar made multiple comments in front of the officer, asking if he had won the fight, and claiming he did not think the victim would snitch, and, because he did, he might have to go back and shoot him.
Deputy Public Defender Aram Davtyan asked Zuniga if the victim was wearing a shirt, and the officer testified the shirt maybe was thrown over the victim’s shoulder. Officer Zuniga also admitted the victim’s shirt was not checked for any marks that could suggest his left shoulder was hit by a brick.
Due to that, and that there was no report of visible injuries on the victim, Davtyan noted there was not enough evidence to continue with Avelar’s case.
Davtyan asserted that the defendant’s charge relies entirely on the credibility of the complaining witness in this case.
Davtyan recalled that the clerk of the Kwik Mart claimed she observed the two individuals in a mutually physical altercation on the store’s surveillance footage. She recounted this information to an officer other than Officer Zuniga.
Davtyan claimed that Avelar’s statement, “Did I win the fight?” while in Officer Zuniga’s car corroborates the fact that a physical altercation did occur between the two men. Davtyan argued that there is evidence that a brick may have been thrown, but who threw it was not known.
Judge Timothy L. Fall ruled that there is sufficient evidence for a jury trial, following official arraignment Oct. 7.
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