By Anna Olsen
ALAMEDA, CA – A Berkeley resident—facing just a simple trespassing charge—refused to appear in Alameda County Superior Court Monday morning for his scheduled trial, and earlier he refused to sign papers to be released from jail.
The Vanguard is not naming the suspect because the charge is a nonviolent misdemeanor.
The accused faces a trespassing charge involving an incident that occurred on April 3, at the Chase Bank located on Telegraph in the city of Berkeley.
According to Judge Gloria Rhynes, the accused had entered the ATM area at the bank, locked the door and refused to leave. Chase corporate security was called and the accused was booked soon after into Santa Rita Jail.
The man remains in custody due to his refusal to sign release (no bail required) papers.
“As of right now,” stated prosecuting attorney Jake O’Malley, “the offer is anything…that involves a stay away (from Chase Bank).”
O’Malley clarified that someone had “stood in for me in which we agreed to OR (own recognizance, no bail release), and then something happened where he never got released. I’m still not clear on why he never got out.
“I’m not going to pretend like this is the trial of the century,” O’Malley continued. “I’m interested in getting him the help he needs. There needs to be some sort of safeguard where I don’t want to just dismiss this case.”
A deputy met with the accused at Santa Rita Jail and stated that the accused “doesn’t want to communicate, he doesn’t want to get released. He is just lying there and breathing, apparently.”
When asked by the judge why the prisoner is refusing to appear in court, the deputy responded with “I have no clue, judge.”
“Well, will you find out?” she responded.
There was a brief conversation between Judge Rhynes and the assigned counsel regarding the accused and his status as a homeless man, in which Rhynes inquired about whether “this is all about him staying where he can have food and shelter.”
Rhynes ended the court session by acknowledging the importance of assisting the man because “one day he will get out of custody and he will be in the same position he was.”
The trial will proceed—if the accused shows up—Thursday in Dept. 12.