By Alex Jimenez
OAKLAND, CA- An Alameda County Superior Court judge decided to release a man so he could continue to receive mental health services despite the deputy district attorney concern about an alleged pepper spray attack on a woman in a wheelchair.
(Note: The Vanguard does not usually disclose the names of those charged with misdemeanors and instead will refer to them as the accused.)
The accused is being formally charged with battery and use of tear gas, both misdemeanors.
The accused has failed to appear to court numerous times, but Assistant Public Defender Ethan Mendoza explained the accused missed one of those court dates because of being held in custody on another matter.
Mental health appears to be an issue said Mendoza, noting the accused was able to attain stable housing and is working with a case manager to get services and setting up a plan for permanent housing.
Mendoza suggested that his client should be entitled to a bail that he can afford “given that these are misdemeanor charges and the support that he is receiving,” citing the Humphreys case that suggest accused incarcerated should only be held in custody if the courts finds they present a danger to public safety.
The deputy district attorney in this case argued against reducing the current bail, charging “The defendant’s violence towards the victims in this case and his past criminal history and failures to appear show that reducing bail is not justified.”
According to the DDA, the accused has 14 failures to appear in Alameda and based on his history, believes that there is a high likelihood that he would not appear in future court procedures.
In this present case, the accused allegedly approached a female victim in a wheelchair and stated “I don’t like white bitches.” He then allegedly grabbed the victim’s head and pushed it into a building wall.
He later allegedly came back and pepper sprayed her and another victim, said the prosecution, claiming “this shows that he is a threat to public safety and bail in this case is not justified.”
PD Mendoza said most of the failures appear are quite old and maintains that the most recent case cannot be attributed to his client, who is in custody. Mendoza also argued that “the difference now is the stability of the situation,” now that he lives with his family and is receiving support through working with a case manager.
Judge Sharon Djemal, acknowledging that the accused is now getting help and would like him to continue to get help, decided to release the accused on his own recognizance. The conditions are that he continue to comply with the services and requested documentation from the case manager on the next court date, April 26.