By Alex Jimenez
OAKLAND, CA – Despite a suspect’s clean criminal record, the prosecutor and judge here in Alameda County’s Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse Friday said they were concerned about a woman who allegedly pulled a knife on a random stranger on a BART train.
Eventually released pretrial, Keana Hatfield is charged with two misdemeanors of exhibiting a deadly weapon and criminal threats late last week.
Public Defender Eric Mirzaian asked the court to consider releasing Hatfield because she has no prior felony or misdemeanor convictions. Mirzaian did acknowledge the violent nature of the offense but also mentioned that they were misdemeanor charges.
The victim in the case was not interested in pressing charges, according to Mirzaian as he attempted to persuade the courts to release Hatfield.
Deputy District Attorney Cathryn Dalton expressed her concerns regarding the defendant’s conduct and outlined the details of the case while also alluding to three prior drug-related arrests as a potential issue.
It was not clear if Dalton had suggested that drug use was the cause of this seemingly random attack but nevertheless saw this as an issue.
“We are very concerned with this conduct on a BART train when she comes up to a random stranger and gets into a verbal altercation and ultimately pulls a knife on this individual,” said Dalton.
A bystander, who was witnessing the events unfold, said they initially tried to ignore Hatfield and the behavior but Hatfield would ultimately throw a bottle at the complaining witness while calling her a snitch.
DDA Dalton suggested $5,000 bail and a stay away order from BART. PD Mirzaian did not object to a stay away order as a condition for release.
“These are pretty serious allegations contained here,” said Judge Jacob Blea and asked for clarification of the defendant’s criminal history. Dalton clarified the drug-related instances she alluded to earlier were merely arrests, but once again specified that they were drug-related.
After a brief moment of silence, Judge Blea ultimately decided to release Hatfield on the condition that she comply with pretrial services and attend AA meetings twice a week. The judge also issued a stay away order from all BART stations and she is prohibited from possessing, owning or using any deadly weapons.
Hatfield’s next court date is Oct. 12, in the Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse Dept. 108 for a plea.