Client was skateboarding with some friends near a small shopping mall when they were confronted by a mall security guard. The guard slaps my client on the head, then tries to snatch the skateboard from his hands. A struggle ensues, the guard ends up with a bloodied nose and some minor scratches, and both my client and the security guard call the police.
The police arrive, and after speaking with only the security guard decide to arrest my client on suspicion of assaulting the guard. Then, while walking my 5’4”, 105 pound client to the patrol car, the police officer thought he was trying to “resist.” The officer trips the client, causing him to fall to the ground, then jumps onto the client’s back.
The client was arrested and transported to juvenile hall, where he remained in custody for three days until his first court hearing. The juvenile wardship petition alleged offenses of assault with a deadly weapon and resisting arrest.
Our immediate investigation revealed that the security guard had a history of engaging in vigilante-type behavior, and the client was a straight-A student with no record of fighting at school and no criminal history. At the first court hearing we were able to get the client released from custody, and we were able to convince the Probation Department and the District Attorney that the charge for assault with a deadly weapon was unfounded.
The District Attorney was not willing to dismiss the charge of resisting arrest, but we successfully argued for the court to allow the client to participate in a 6-month program of informal supervision. As a result my client did not need to admit any wrongdoing, was not declared a ward of the court or a delinquent, and his case will be completely dismissed in just a few months.