Man Allegedly Sneaks Up on Ex-girlfriend, Beats Her; Deputies Arrest Him with Shovel Held Over Her Head

By Tori Gacutan 

RIVERSIDE, CA – Witness testimony in a preliminary hearing late last week in Riverside County Superior Court targeted the accused and his alleged attack Aug. 3 of a former girlfriend and threats to her family.

The accused is currently in custody and facing trial on battery and assault charges. His bail is $500,000.00.

The first witness was Deputy Sheriff Gabriel Constatin, who described seeing the accused holding a shovel with both hands above his head.

When questioned by prosecuting attorney Sam Taloa about who else was present at the time, Constantin explained, “I saw a female behind him (the accused) and several of my colleagues were around me.”

Deputy District Attorney Taloa asked him if he was concerned the accused would use the shovel against the female in a dangerous way. Sheriff Gabriel Constantin replied, “Yes,” noting the shovel was being used as a weapon.

During the incident, the deputy then ordered that the accused drop the shovel, and the accused complied, pushed the shovel to the officers and dropped down to his knees. While detaining the accused, the deputy said he recovered a six-inch blade knife and some box cutters from his pockets.

The deputy also testified a bag of “dope” dropped out of the defendant’s pocket that the deputy believed to be methamphetamine. After performing a narcotic field test on the bag, it was found to be positive for methamphetamine. The bag contained 2.3 grams of methamphetamine, which is an amount that is deemed a usable quantity.

The deputy noted the accused did not resist arrest.

The second witness brought to court was the ex-girlfriend of the accused, the woman behind the accused whom he appeared to be attacking, and she said she did not remember anything from the day of the alleged assault. She remembered waking up that day but began to become forgetful during lunch.

The witness added she had no injuries the next day, “just had a headache.”  She said she went to the hospital and did not receive any medical care.

The witness did explain to the medical staff that she got into a fight, and the DDA said he was informed that the witness told the medical staff that she fell off her bike.

Afterwards, the witness said she found that her nose was broken and was not so informed by the hospital.

The next witness was Bret Hensley, an investigator for the Riverside County Sheriff Department, who said he saw the previous witness being attended to by medical personnel during the shovel incident.

When asked to describe the ex-girlfriend’s demeanor at that moment, investigator Hensely said “she was shaken up, and didn’t want to talk too much about what happened.”

Hensley testified to the ex-girlfriend’s injuries, noting “she had a very swollen nose, a lot of blood, but most of it was dry by the time I spoke to her. She had a small cut on her mouth, and she had a bunch of contusions and bumps on her hairline.”

Hensley said the girlfriend did not want to give much information to him about what happened during the incident, but he heard a statement she gave to another deputy that she and a new boyfriend came back to her house when the accused came up to them, and grabbed his ex-girlfriend by her hair, dragging her to the back of the house, hitting her at least 10 times on her face.

While the accused was outside the house at some point, the father of the ex-girlfriend heard several gunshots, according to the statement. Moreover, the father of the ex-girlfriend said the accused then entered the house again and threatened to kill the entire family while holding a handgun, calling them “rats for calling the police.”

During the incident, a sheriff’s department helicopter was also recording what was happening down below.

Investigator Hensley reviewed the video, and said, “The video shows a male and female at the back of the property. It shows that the male strikes the female in the face with the top handle of the shovel. Prior to that it shows that he punches the female in the stomach. Very shortly after that, the deputies arrive while [the accused] is holding the shovel above his head, and the deputies take him into custody.”

About The Author

The Vanguard Court Watch operates in Yolo, Sacramento and Sacramento Counties with a mission to monitor and report on court cases. Anyone interested in interning at the Courthouse or volunteering to monitor cases should contact the Vanguard at info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org - please email info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org if you find inaccuracies in this report.

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