By Catherine Potente
WOODLAND, CA–Witness testimony continued Wednesday in Yolo County Superior Court in the jury trial of Mark Meeks, accused of obstructing or resisting an officer, battery on a peace officer, battery against a cohabiting spouse, and one enhancement charge.
Court proceedings resumed this morning with witness testimony from Officer Shayne Souza and Officer Ryan Eads, who responded to the domestic violence incident call on March 27, 2021, and arrested Meeks.
Deputy District Attorney Michelle Serafin directly examined Officer Souza from the Woodland Police Department, who at the time of incident was fairly new, only having been with the department for about one year and four months.
In the footage, Meek’s partner stated that Meeks punched him in the temple twice, slapped him, and proceeded to spit in his face. The incident occurred after Meeks had been drinking alcohol and his partner made a comment about being annoyed at people who come into his apartment and break his possessions.
This comment, combined with alcohol use, caused Meeks to get physical and accuse his partner of being a pedophile, the officer said he was told by the partner.
During cross-examination, the officer witness stated he did not see any physical injuries on Meeks’ partner and made note of that in his report. However, the officer did see redness on Meeks’ partner’s face, but did not put that in his report.
Officer Souza stated that he arrested Meeks with Officer Eads, and Meeks immediately became belligerent and resistant to the arrest, demanding to be let go, while spitting. Although the officer was told that Meeks had alcohol in his system, to him, Meeks did not smell of alcohol, so he did not attribute Meeks’ behavior to being intoxicated.
The officer noted that if he had noticed signs of intoxication, he would have changed his approach to Meeks’ arrest by talking slower and breaking down his questions in order for Meeks to understand the situation.
Officer Eads, the second officer who responded to the domestic violence incident, said Woodland PD policy says an arrest should occur if there is probable cause during the incident. In order for Officer Eads to generate probable cause, he stated that he needed to consider the totality of all elements, such as the relationship status and the actions that occurred.
On the day of the incident, the officer witness reported to the address of Meeks’ partner, who had told him that Meeks had left the apartment and described Meeks’ clothing and appearance to the officer.
After locating Meeks, Officer Souza told Officer Eads that they had probable cause to arrest Meeks for domestic violence.
The officers told Meeks that he was under arrest for domestic violence. According to Officer Eads, Meeks looked shocked, he tensed up, and physically resisted being arrested.
The officer stated, “When I placed my hands onto his wrist, I felt his entire left arm tense up, his muscles tensed up and it required me to use both hands and a control hold technique to guide his left wrist to the small of his back.”
While resisting the arrest, Eads said Meeks threatened to kill and beat up the officers. Officer Eads called for backup because he did not think he and Officer Souza could control Meeks.
Officer Eads requested the backup officer to bring a WRAP device to restrain Meeks from hurting himself and the officers. Meeks was placed into the WRAP device and lifted into Officer Souza’s patrol car.
Meeks elbowed Officer Eads in the mouth while the officer tried to buckle Meeks’ seatbelt. The officer felt that Meeks intentionally elbowed him given the expletives Meeks was saying to him.
DDA Serafin showed body cam footage from Officer Eads. In the footage, Meeks is yelling at the officers to let him go and it shows that Meeks elbowed the officer.