Editor’s note (Sept. 7): This story has been corrected to reflect that only four of the five defendants in the April Picnic Day incident pleaded no contest on Aug. 30. The fifth defendant, Antwoine Rashadek Perry, did not enter his plea until Thursday, Sept. 7, according to the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office.
Four of the five young people facing assault charges stemming from April’s Picnic Day melee in Davis pleaded no contest to single counts of felony resisting arrest before a Yolo Superior Court judge Wednesday, avoiding a possible trial in the case.
“We’re not going to continue the preliminary hearing. The case is resolved,” said Yolo Superior Court Judge David Rosenberg just after 1:30 p.m.
An attorney for Elijah Williams, one of the members of the group known as the “Picnic Day Five,” demanded changes in Davis law enforcement conduct at future events.
“Changes undoubtedly need to be made ... in how the Davis Police Department will handle crowd control in the future,” defense attorney Mark Reichel said. “We’re confident that by fighting like we did that beneficial changes will be made.”
The group was accused of brawling with undercover Davis police officers on a crowded street corner on April 22. Police dashcam and other video recordings captured the incident that occurred at Russell Avenue and College Park Drive after an unmarked police van carrying three plainclothes officers drove up to a large crowd that was spilling onto the street, triggering a melee that left several officers injured.
All five have said they were defending themselves, unaware the men in the van were Davis police until after blows were exchanged.
Williams, 19, and Alexander Reide Craver, 22, of West Sacramento, and Antwoine Rashadek Perry, 21, of Elk Grove, were arrested along with two others, Angelica Monique Reyes and Iszir Daquan Price, in the incident.
The four except for Perry pleaded no contest Wednesday to felony resisting. Defendants Williams, Carver, Reyes and Price also pleaded no contest to an added charge of misdemeanor battery and were given one year informal probation. Prosecutors cited the defendant’s ages and clean records in offering the deal.
Perry, who on Tuesday fired his defense lawyer and asked that his case be severed from the others, was scheduled to return to court Sept. 7.
Rosenberg declared a “deferred entry of judgment” order on the felony charges. If the defendants attend a restorative justice program, complete it and commit no crimes in a 12-month period, then their felony charge will be dismissed, the judge said.
The afternoon announcement was hinted at by a morning full of talks in Rosenberg’s chambers and in the courthouse corridors among attorneys, defendants and their families. The early day activity was capped by Rosenberg’s noontime teaser: “We have new developments.”
By 1:30, those developments came to light with the plea agreement.