Officer Testimony Continues in Trial for Man Accused of Resisting Arrest in Domestic Violence Call

By Catherine Potente

WOODLAND, CA–Witness testimony continued Wednesday in Yolo County Superior Court in the jury trial of the accused, charged with 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 the accused.

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.

DDA Serafin showed the jury body cam footage that came from the officer witness, which included Souza’s interaction with The accused’s partner, who reported the domestic violence incident to the police.

In the footage, Meek’s partner stated that the accused punched him in the temple twice, slapped him, and proceeded to spit in his face. The incident occurred after the accused 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 the accused 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 the accused’s partner and made note of that in his report. However, the officer did see redness on the accused’s partner’s face, but did not put that in his report.

Officer Souza stated that he arrested the accused with Officer Eads, and the accused immediately became belligerent and resistant to the arrest, demanding to be let go, while spitting. Although the officer was told that the accused had alcohol in his system, to him, the accused did not smell of alcohol, so he did not attribute the accused’s behavior to being intoxicated.

The officer noted that if he had noticed signs of intoxication, he would have changed his approach to the accused’s arrest by talking slower and breaking down his questions in order for the accused 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 the accused’s partner, who had told him that the accused had left the apartment and described the accused’s clothing and appearance to the officer.

After locating the accused, Officer Souza told Officer Eads that they had probable cause to arrest the accused for domestic violence.

The officers told the accused that he was under arrest for domestic violence. According to Officer Eads, the accused 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 the accused threatened to kill and beat up the officers. Officer Eads called for backup because he did not think he and Officer Souza could control the accused.

Officer Eads requested the backup officer to bring a WRAP device to restrain the accused from hurting himself and the officers. The accused was placed into the WRAP device and lifted into Officer Souza’s patrol car.

The accused elbowed Officer Eads in the mouth while the officer tried to buckle the accused’s seatbelt. The officer felt that the accused intentionally elbowed him given the expletives the accused was saying to him.

DDA Serafin showed body cam footage from Officer Eads. In the footage, the accused is yelling at the officers to let him go and it shows that the accused elbowed the officer.

Judge Timothy Fall wrapped up court proceedings for the day. Witness testimony will continue this week.

About The Author

Catherine is a fourth year undergraduate student at UC Davis, majoring in Psychology and minoring in Communications. She plans to graduate in 2022 and is interested in studying law.

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