By Alexander Ramirez
WOODLAND – The dirty side of personal politics—mirroring the divisions in the U.S. today—reared its ugly head here in Yolo County Superior Court Wednesday when one pro-Trump supporter allegedly pepper sprayed her neighbor over political disagreements.
According to the court record, on Jan. 21, Charissa Armour was arrested for allegedly pepper spraying a mother and her daughter when Armour confronted them on the victims’ property.
Although there were conflicting accounts stated by the victims and witnesses in the case, a strong, suggestive motive behind the confrontation between the two neighbors were political beliefs.
Leading up to the incident on the night of Jan. 21, Armour and her son said they received many notes left on her car and on their door regarding their support of former-President Trump.
There were also incidents of rocks allegedly being thrown at their windows and their U.S. flag being taken down from their house.
Per the victim’s daughter, the other victim in this case, she heard a banging on their kitchen window around 10 p.m. and identified that as Armour.
When her mother came to the door, the defendant and the mother began to argue, with the defendant allegedly threatening to beat the victim if they were to step on her property again.
The daughter said the next thing she knew she and her mother were pepper sprayed in their faces.
During the cross-examination by defendant Armour’s attorney, James Bradford, the daughter also said that her mom and Armour had got into a few arguments on Facebook regarding their political beliefs, but neither she nor her mom had left any notes or thrown any rocks at Armour’s windows.
Much of the mother’s recollection of the events were the same, adding that their political talks had remained civil until that night and that Armour has already made complaints to the property manager.
When asked whether she knew of any motivations behind Armour’s actions, she said, “I don’t know. I don’t worship politicians.”
Armour’s son also took the stand, and said the victim and his mom were both friends before all of the political talk started happening. He felt as though the victim was much more hostile to them and sneaking glares at them as they left their house.
Armour’s son also said that he went to confront the victim before his mother did because of a note that he found by their home that said, “Biden is your daddy.”
It was only after he went to confront the victims that his mom followed to try and stop him, he said. The victim then came out of her house yelling and threatening to beat Armour and her son if they didn’t leave her property.
When Armour saw the victim coming down her steps toward her and her son, she pepper sprayed the victim, said the son, adding his mother was “100 percent doing it to protect me.”
As for the notes and rocks, while he was told by his mom that it was the victim leaving the notes, he did mention seeing three boys that were affiliated with the victim’s family throwing the rocks.
Judge Timothy Fall found reasonable evidence for a holding order on two assault counts, he said, because defendant Armour went to the victim’s property and was told to leave, but ended up pepper spraying the victim on the victim’s property.
Judge Fall didn’t see sufficient evidence for self-defense, or that the victim was connected to the notes or rocks being thrown at Armour’s windows. In the midst of these political tensions, that could’ve been any passerby, he said.
However, Judge Fall said, due to the events of the case and Armour’s lack of criminal history, both counts were to be considered as misdemeanors, and not felonies. A trial setting conference is on May 3.
Alexander Ramirez is a third-year Political Science major at the University of California, Davis. He hopes to hone his writing skills in preparation for the inevitable time of graduation.
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