COURT WATCH: Judge Dismisses Assault Charge, Rules Insufficient Evidence to Proceed

LOS ANGELES- CA, MARCH 2: Los Angeles Superior Court Stanley Mosk Courthouse March 2, 2004 in Los Angeles Hills, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***

By Bergen Greenley

LOS ANGELES, CA – Judge Cathryn F. Brougham this week dismissed assault charges in a preliminary hearing at Los Angeles County Superior Court, ruling the prosecution did not provide sufficient evidence for the case to be continued.

The accused, an older white male, was alleged March 24 to have stabbed or hit the complaining witness/victim, a Black man, in the head, and then after he fell to the ground continued to kick the accused and yelled racial slurs at him.

Reagan Mena, an officer with the Santa Monica Police Department, testified that when the victim was found on the ground his head was bleeding, he had a large swelling on the side of his forehead, and could not speak.

The on-scene witness, said the prosecution, observed two men arguing near the Santa Monica pier around 8:30 p.m. on the day of the incident. He said he saw the white man using an object and making a stabbing motion with it towards the Black man, who then fell on the ground and hit his head. The white man began circling him, kicking him, and yelling racial slurs at him.

The witness originally identified the suspect as an older white man with long light-colored thin hair, wearing black pants, a black hoodie, and a black leather jacket with silver designs on the arms and back.

The accused, however, was not wearing a black hoodie, and his black leather jacket did not have silver designs on the arms and back, but it did have a silver zipper on one arm.

In the lineup of possible suspects, the witness originally said he wasn’t sure if one of them was the perpetrator. He chose the accused because he was similar age and wearing a black leather jacket, but he admitted that he was not certain if that was really the perpetrator.

He also said the accused’s hair was not as thin as the hair of the perpetrator he saw, even though this was less than an hour after the incident.

The prosecution argued that since it was dark out it was possible that the witness had not gotten every aspect of the man’s clothes correct. Since the man was close to the description and there were not many other people in the area, it was believed that this man was the perpetrator, the prosecution said.

Another witness, officer Christopher Dilworth with the Santa Monica PD, saw the accused sitting down on the beach a half mile away from the incident sometime after the incident occurred.

 The timing made it possible that he would have had time to get there after the assault, said the officer, adding the accused alleged he was sitting on the beach eating cheese and crackers, drinking wine and reading “Shakespearean Soliloquy.”

When the officer arrived he observed the man was not out of breath and when he asked him about the incident, the accused claimed to have had no involvement in any altercation.

The accused had no blood anywhere on him, not even his shoes which the perpetrator allegedly used to kick the victim while the victim was bleeding. The civilian witness also alleged the victim had a knife sticking out of his head, but that was not found when police arrived.

The defense asked the court to dismiss this case on the grounds of insufficient evidence, which the judge granted, ruling there was not enough evidence the accused was the man who committed the assault, and noting the civilian witness did not feel confident in their identification and their story was not cohesive.

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.

Related posts

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
Sign up for