By Alex Jimenez
ALAMEDA, CA – Assistant Public Defender Kristen Blake McCannon asked the judge here in Alameda County Superior Court Friday to release her client pretrial because of the distressing nature of losing his companion dog.
Mark A. Caballes is being held in custody for missing the court date relating to the incident, where $50,000 bail was issued.
According to the police report, Caballes was at a hotel where he lost sight of his dog. The dog was run over and killed by a driver in a white truck at the hotel parking lot, a hotel worker told Caballes.
When confronted, the man denied hitting the dog and laughed about the situation, which prompted Caballes to allegedly punch the driver multiple times and kick him, according to police.
Police were able to obtain surveillance footage from the hotel showing a white pick-up truck driving in the parking lot and a small dog is seen walking in the middle of the parking lot roadway.
The dog is then obstructed by camera view by a parked car and the truck drives in the same obstructed area and “appears to make a movement as if it ran something over,” according to PD McCannon.
McCannon went on to argue why the case should be recalled, “seeing how visibly distressed Mr. Caballes was about his dog dying,” and explained that this was an inadvertent situation as opposed to a case of an irresponsible pet owner letting his dog walk in the middle of the parking lot.
Based on the police report and McCannon’s statement, Caballes thought that the dog was with him when he entered the hotel until he realized the dog was not there.
“He (the driver) killed his dog and most of us can understand in that moment seeing your dog dead and then having the person laughing in your face like it’s no big deal, is distressing,” McCannon said, adding police did not take Caballes into custody immediately following the incident.
Based on these circumstances McCannon asked that the courts recall the case and release Caballes from custody pretrial.
While acknowledging the nature of the situation, Deputy District Attorney Brooke Danielle Perkins asserted that “nothing that (PD) McCannon just added changes the circumstances whatsoever.”
She argued being laughed at, however, is not a legal defense, and added Caballes has prior felony convictions including a strike prior which should be taken into consideration.
Judge Stuart Hing asked McCannon to comment on any special findings that the courts should consider. McCannon said she disagreed with Perkins’ claim that “nothing has changed” and added that the client was very cooperative with police and told them everything that happened.
Sensing that release is unlikely, McCannon asked that bail be set to the original amount at $50,000 to which both Perkins and Judge Hing agreed.
Caballes will remain in custody on $50,000 bail, and, if he bails out, must return to court on Aug. 23 for a plea to the charges.