Friday, April 28, 2017

In Re R.S. and I.V. (Cal. Ct. App. - April 28, 2017)

Two opinions this morning.  Both involving juveniles.  Both from San Diego.  Both involving kids for whom, sadly, I feel this opinion may not be their only lifetime involvement with the criminal justice system.

Here's R.S.:

"On April 7, 2016, police officers detained R.S. at Crawford High School in response to a report that a nonstudent juvenile male was trespassing on campus. The officers took R.S. to the school's main office and questioned him. R.S. denied being on school grounds. He also repeatedly refused to identify himself and was "very loud and rude."

Because R.S. did not cooperate with the officers, the officers attempted to place him under arrest. As they did, R.S. "tensed up and clenched his fists and attempted to pull away." He yelled, "Don't fucking touch me Blood, get your hands off me!" R.S. struggled with the officers as they tried to subdue him. Eventually, the officers handcuffed R.S. One of the officers suffered a hairline fracture to his thumb during the struggle. School administrators reported that, before the officers arrived, R.S. had identified himself by a fake name and falsely claimed that he was a student at the school.

About two months later, R.S. and a juvenile associate were inside a Starbucks at 67th Street and El Cajon Boulevard, watching a 70-year-old man as he left the coffee shop. The man was carrying an iPhone 6. R.S. and his associate nodded their heads in the man's direction and then followed him outside "as if they were stalking him." R.S. and his associate then struck the man from behind in the back of his head. R.S. hit the man, using a "modified 'superman' punch" whereby R.S. jumped up and brought his fist down onto the man's head. The punch knocked the man to the ground, rendering him unconscious. . . . Police caught R.S. later that day. At the police station, R.S. at first denied punching the victim in the head, but later admitted to striking him. He conceded that he attacked the victim to steal his iPhone."

Less violent, but also troubling, is I.V.:

"In May 2016, 15-year-old I.V. became angry with his mother when she would not give him shopping money. He went into his bedroom in his grandfather's home, punched and kicked the walls, and threatened his grandfather when his grandfather tried to intervene. I.V.'s mother called the police, who arrived to find a broken lock on I.V.'s bedroom door, a damaged bed frame, holes in the wall, and damaged furniture. . . .

In late June, the probation department submitted a social study evaluating I.V. for the disposition hearing. The social study noted I.V.'s history of damaging property when upset and his mother's tendency to downplay his volatile behavior. . . . I.V. received failing grades in all of his classes in his first semester of high school, and he had a history of truancy. He was suspended for possessing marijuana and was subsequently expelled from his high school."

How depressing to have a fairly clear vision of where these children will likely end up.  Despite a wide variety of social efforts to make things turn out a different way.