By Wendy Moya
ALAMEDA, CA – Officers from the Oakland Police Department testified in a trial here in Alameda County Superior Court this week for a man who allegedly robbed a marijuana dispensary—and a man outside in the parking lot—in Oakland.
According to key witnesses, the robbery took place on the evening of Sept. 24, 2019, by a suspect—later identified as Alvin Johnson—wielding a firearm.
According to the owner, who was later interviewed by police, the man allegedly stole over $5,000 from the business. He was also accused of stealing money from a man parked in the dispensary parking lot.
Officer Timothy Latibeaudiere of the Oakland Police Department testified he couldn’t recall the names of the seven victims off the top of his head; however, he notes that he wrote the names of the victims in the report.
Johnson’s attorney objected, pointing out a problem with the officer not being able to recall the names when prompted. However, the judge allowed the officer to read his report and repeat the names of the seven victims in court.
The defense attorney then asked for the names of the police officers who also responded to the call. The defense attorney asked the officer if he knew which police officers provided which of the victims’ names.
Officer Latibeaudiere responded that he would need to reread his report to recall that information.
Detective Gregory Rosin, also from the Oakland Police Department, said he reviewed police reports and video footage of the incident. It was then shown to the court. It captured the robbery, and Rosin identified Johnson as the man with a firearm in the video.
Rosin stated that Johnson’s “physical build, his facial characteristics, and a noticeable damaged left eye” helped him identify him as the man in the video. Rosin stated that he met Johnson in July 2017 and again in October 2017 through traffic-related incidents, during one of which Johnson was arrested.
Detective Rosin identified Johnson during the virtual hearing by what he was wearing. Johnson was prompted to briefly lower his mask to reveal his face. Rosin recognized him to be Johnson.
As Detective Rosin reviewed surveillance footage from outside the dispensary, he noted that the suspect committed an additional burglary, and saw Johnson leaving the dispensary and approaching a man sitting in his car in the parking lot. He pointed a firearm at the victim inside his vehicle, who gave the suspect a bag.
Rosin explained that he reached out to the victim to investigate this incident as well. The victim told Rosin that the suspect pointed a weapon at him, causing him to “fear for his safety.”
According to the victim, after the suspect fled in a vehicle, the victim exited his own vehicle and chased after the suspect on foot.
According to Rosin, when Johnson was arrested, he was read his Miranda Rights and when asked whether he understood his rights, “he said “Mhm.” When asked whether “Mhm” meant that he understood his rights, he once again responded “Mhm.”
Detective Rosin added that while he interviewed Johnson, Johnson’s shoes stood out to him because they matched the shoes worn by the suspect in the video footage.
Johnson’s attorney asked Detective Rosin how he was so sure that the suspect in the video was in fact Alvin Johnson. Rosin responded that “the identification of Johnson is based on [his] personal contacts with him and [his] personal knowledge of him.”
The trial is ongoing this week.