Victim Claims Sucker-Punched, Kicked on Ground by ‘Ex’ of Girlfriend, Describes Horrifying Assault

By Savannah Dewberry and Priana Aquino

WOODLAND, CA – A victim here in Yolo County Superior Court Thursday testified in a preliminary hearing how—in effect—he was sucker punched by defendant Uriel Esordienti and then beaten on the ground by several people, sustaining a broken nose and psychological damage.

Esordienti—the former boyfriend of the victim’s new girlfriend—is accused of aggravated battery with serious bodily injury.

On Nov. 23, 2019, at 2 a.m., defendant Esordienti allegedly assaulted the victim/witness who was walking to his vehicle. The witness was with his friends, three of whom were called to be witnesses but did not testify on Thursday.

During the hearing, the witness recalled receiving a blow to the back of his head that knocked him to the ground. While he was down, two men, one of which the witness claimed was Esordienti, punched and kicked him 20 to 30 times.

The witness said that the incident “[f]elt like eternity. I didn’t know if I was going to walk away alive.”

While he was on the ground, the witness recalled blocking his face and trying to kick the aggressors away. He was unable to return the blows he had received, and still struggled to gain consciousness.

The witness said he was able to escape from the defendant and received treatment for a broken nose at Sutter Davis Hospital. Later he filed a restraining order against Esordienti.

At the time of the assault, the witness had just begun a relationship with Esordienti’s former partner, who has a child with the defendant.

The witness testified that he had never formally met the defendant, nor received any threats from him. However, he was given permission by the judge to read from his phone a message from Twitter that was sent to them anonymously, that the witness presumed was from Esordienti.

The message was sent two days before the incident that read: “I’m not going to try to fight you, I’m just going to tell you the truth,” and included explicit language on the defendant’s former partner’s sexual history. Esordienti ended the message writing, “She’s not loyal to you.”

During cross-examination, Esordienti’s lawyer, Steven Sabaddini, asked the witness about the locations he went to leading up to the incident. The witness recalled going to four bars before being dropped off at his vehicle.

The witness testified to having consumed alcohol, but said that at the time he was not impaired to the point of being unable to drive or recall information.

When asked by Deputy District Attorney Alex Kian if he had suffered any psychological impact from the attack, the witness said, “Due to the nature of the attack, having been attacked out of nowhere, I feel like I look over my shoulder all the time.”

He added, “There are times when I have my window open and when I hear something it scares me more than it used to.”

Judge David Reed adjourned court after the witness testimony, and the preliminary hearing will resume on June 4.

Savannah Dewberry is a student at the University of San Francisco. She is pursuing a Media Studies major with a minor in Journalism. Savannah Dewberry is an East Bay native and currently lives in San Francisco.

Priana Aquino is an incoming 4th year at the University of San Francisco, majoring in Business and minoring in Legal Studies. Upon graduation, she hopes to attend law school and continue her work in uplifting and advocating for communities of color.

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