My client was involved in a fight with an off-duty San Diego Police Officer on a Sunday afternoon. Both my client and the cop were drunk. According to the cop and his girlfriend, who were residents of the condo complex where the fight occurred, after an exchange of obscenities, my client spit in his face and “sucker punched” him in the condo pool area, after which the cop subdued him to await the arrival of back up.
At the preliminary hearing on the charges (PC 245(a), PC 243(d), PC 243 (c)(2) and a GBI enhancement) the neighbors, who Alan Stevens had interviewed and subpoenaed, told a different story. While all 5 of them agreed my client initiated the conflict by spitting in the cop’s face, they all testified that the cop punched my client in the neck, after which my client punched him in the face, knocking out 2 of his teeth.
Judge Einhorn, sitting as the Magistrate, found the neighbor’s version of events to be credible and the cop and his girlfriend’s version not credible. Accordingly, he ruled that the punch which caused the injuries was self-defense. Einhorn then dismissed all the felony charges and the GBI enhancements, but held my client to answer on one misdemeanor assault count (PC 240) and one misdemeanor battery count (PC 242).
Chang’s criminal defense attorney, Michael McCabe, said his client believes that the federal prosecution is “retaliatory,” especially because Chang —- reportedly acting on the advice of a different attorney —- renamed and reopened his San Marcos shop after it was shut down a year ago.
The four top federal prosecutors based in California announced an aggressive, statewide crackdown against pot dispensaries Friday, vowing to shut down dozens of operations and saying that the worst offenders are using the cover of medical marijuana to act as storefront drug dealers.
San Diego U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy said medical marijuana dispensaries are “becoming a pervasive, for-profit industry” and “a local law enforcement nightmare.” She said federal authorities were sending out letters to medical marijuana storefronts and property owners in San Diego and Imperial counties to warn them to close within 45 days or suffer the consequences of losing their property and facing criminal charges.