Articles Posted in Domestic Violence

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17-year-old Ziaire Davis of Buffalo, NY has been accused of assaulting his 2-month-old daughter by throwing her up against a wall and shaking her, leaving her in critical condition. Though Davis is underage his name has been released as he is being charged as an adult due to the severity of the alleged crime.

Buffalo Police Lt. Jeff Rinaldo stated that the infant was diagnosed with a fractured skull, a brain bleed, broken ribs, and other injuries. She is currently being treated in the pediatric intensive care unit at Women & Children’s Hospital. The amount of time between the assault and the call placed to 911 has yet to be determined and is under investigation by the district attorney.

Detectives from specialized units were dispatched to the crime scene where they interviewed Davis. He was taken into custody and charged with felony assault and endangering the welfare of a child. He is being held on $50,000 bail.

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Anaheim police Sgt. Darin Wyatt said that the police were called to the Friendly Village mobile home park on La Palma Ave. after a report of domestic violence. But, before the police had arrived, the suspect, a man in his 30’s, fled saying he wasn’t going to go quietly and threatening “suicide by cop.”

According to Sgt. Wyatt the police set up a perimeter around the mobile home park to search for him. The people in the area were warned to shelter in place because it was unknown if the man was armed.

Anaheim’s city police helicopter was sent in, to provide a spotlight and aerial surveillance. Soon after the police in the helicopter spotted a man fitting the suspect’s description hiding in the bushes around the search area. Officers were sent to that location and arrested the suspect “without incident,” Wyatt said.

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Michelle Betancourt was sentenced on Tuesday for stabbing her three year old son during a domestic dispute with the child’s father.

In May 2015, Michelle Betancourt of Los Angeles and her child’s father got into a heated argument. The twenty-three year old woman lost control and threw a knife at the man, but it hit her child instead. Neighbors reported terrifying screaming and crying and a woman yelling something about “a lot of blood.” Neighbors saw Betancourt running down the driveway, holding the wounded boy, while screaming hysterically. The boy’s father initially claimed that the boy had stabbed himself.

The boy’s injuries were life-threatening, but he did recover. Betancourt was arrested and charged with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon and personal infliction of great bodily injury. Although police originally claimed the assault was intentional, after thoroughly reviewing the case prosecutors decided they could not file attempted murder charges. Attempted murder requires the specific intent to murder, whereas Betancourt acted wantonly and recklessly. Her attorney insists that she did not intend to harm her child.

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A Pennsylvania man, Andre Price, has been charged with child endangerment and the mother of his children has been charged with murder after she sent him angry text messages threatening to kill the children and a lifeless video of one child and he failed to respond.

The woman allegedly believed that Price wasn’t coming home so that he could be with another woman. In dozens of text messages she said “your kids ain’t safe here,” “come get them I don’t want them here” and “answer me or I am going to jail for child endangerment”. About an hour into the rant the woman allegedly sent a text message saying “I’m killing them,” followed by a laughing emoji with tears coming from its eyes. She then sent a lifeless video of the couple’s son.

The woman herself eventually called 911. Police found the boy dead on an air mattress. The woman has been charged with murder and child endangerment for endangering the life of the boys younger sister, who was present during the incident.

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In nearly twenty years of practice as an Orange County criminal defense attorney, I have seen the following too many times to recall:

He has been served with a temporary restraining order and wants to fight it. The says there’s no reason for it. They simply had a breakup and he said some mean things. There was no violence, no harassment and no threats. Imposition of the restraining order can have consequences- he could lose his job and his ex-wife could use the restraining order against him if she ever decides to take him back to court to get more child support. Shortly before the restraining order hearing he calls and says his ex-girlfriend wants to “drop” the restraining order. I ask how he knows this and he says “she called me”.

He should never have taken that call. Unless there is some specifically carved out exception such as “the parties may have electronic communication solely for the purposes of discussing continuing financial obligations,” a restraining order prohibits contact for ALL  purposes.

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As an Orange County criminal defense lawyer who has handled thousands of domestic violence or spousal abuse cases, I get calls daily from people who were arrested or whose significant other was arrested because neighbors heard them fighting and called the police. You do not have to be married to be charged with “spousal abuse”—it applies if you were ever in a dating relationship with the other party.

In Orange County most domestic violence or spousal abuse arrests are unwanted by either party. The concept of “pressing charges” is a myth. One does not get arrested or prosecuted based on whether the other party decides to “press charges”. What this means is that your desire that your partner NOT be arrested is largely irrelevant. In most cases the police will make an arrest if they:

  1. See any injury or
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Mel Gibson is a well-known local hothead. It came as no surprise to Southern California or Orange County residents then when officials in Sydney, Australia said they were investigating him for criminal assault or battery on a member of the paparazzi. Worse, that member was a woman, who claimed that he shoved her in the back and spit on her. Police claim they did a thorough investigation, which included talking with witnesses and reviewing security camera footage, but have ultimately decided not to file criminal charges, much to the anger of the alleged victim.

Assault and battery can be serious charges. As an Orange County criminal attorney I defend innocent people of accusations of assault and battery weekly. But most people are not subject to the careful scrutiny that Mel Gibson received before charges are filed. Unfortunately, assault and battery charges are often filed on nothing more than a simple verbal allegation, such as “he punched me.”

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A Fresno, CA man is accused of severely beating his wife after she continually posted selfies on Instagram, an online mobile photo-sharing, video-sharing and social networking service.

After her husband allegedly beat and threatened to kill her, the victim ran off with their 5 and 7 year old children and called the police. The man reportedly ran off with their 2 year old child. The victim of domestic violence appeared to have been choked and punched, as she suffered injury to her eyes, neck, arms and legs.

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Domestic violence calls to police often result in arrests, but when the suspect is a 500 pound man, the challenge is put upon police to even move, let alone make an arrest. That’s what happened when the man’s girlfriend called police and allegedly told the police that her boyfriend had slapped and spit on her.

Police arrived to find the man freshly showered, speaking with slurred speech, and naked. When informed he was under arrest, he allegedly sat down on the floor and told officers to try to move him. He also reportedly kicked an officer, according to police documents.

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What to do when Social Services has been called—

You and your husband were arguing the other night. Neighbors called the police. The police told you that they had to arrest one of you and he chose you. You’ve bailed out of jail, you’ve contacted an experienced Orange County domestic violence or criminal defense attorney,  you are prepared for court and then you come home and there it is out of left field- a business card left on your door from the Department of Child and Family Services with a note that you must call a social worker. You call as instructed and are told that “your social worker” needs to investigate “your case.”

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