Enamorados Prosecution Advances To Third Day Of Preliminary Hearings With Seven Yet Incarcerated

Seven of eight Enamorados, who have been charged by the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office with physically assaulting members of the public as a consequence of their self-styled crusades for justice on behalf of immigrants and street vendors remain in custody as their preliminary hearing continues at the Victorville Courthouse.
According to the prosecution, Edin Enamorado, 36; Wendy Luján, 40; David Chávez, 27; Fernando López, 44; Vanessa Carrasco, 40; Gullit Eder “ Jaguar” Acevedo, 30; Stephanie Amésquita, 33; and Edwin Peña, 26, were involved in either or both of two incidents, one at the El Super market in Pomona on September 3 and another in the commercial section along Palmdale Road in Victorville on September 24, in which their activism turned violent.
It is the deeply held belief of Edin Enamorado and his eponymous group of followers that America, i.e., North America, was and therefore still is the land of the indigenous people of the Americas and that European colonizers usurped the land and resources that rightly belong to those indigenous tribes. Since the rich white descendants of those Europeans continue to engage in the domination of Latinos or La Raza through their capitalistic system and hoard the wealth and goods they are accumulating by continuing to exploit those who are less fortunate and not well-fixed financially, according to Enamorado, he and those with whom he networks and is in league are morally justified in taking back what was taken from them and protecting, by whatever means necessary, the Latino and immigrant population that is being assailed formally or informally, officially or unofficially by agents of the white-controlled government such as the police or municipal code enforcement officers or white bigoted bullies who insult, assault or interfere in any way with street vendors or sidewalk vendors.
A preliminary hearing that was originally scheduled to take place before Judge Faherty on December 28 instead took place in Judge Melissa Rodriguez’s courtroom. Present were Deputy District Attorney Jason Wilkinson and defense attorney Nicolas Rosenberg Confidential documents were filed with the court consisting of a letter from an individual described as one of the Enamorados’ victims, identified as John Doe 3, believed to have been involved in the Victorville incident on September 24, and one from Pomona Vice Mayor Victor Preciado in support of bail for the defendants and/or release on their own recognizance and one from the National Lawyers Guild in support of the granting of bail or recognizance release.
Judge Rodriguez considered the defense motion for bail and/or recognizance release. Arguments were presented by Wilkinson as well as by Rosenberg and the other defense counsel. Judge Rodriguez made a finding citing “clear and convincing” evidence that no condition or combination of conditions could be attached to the release of Enamorado, Chávez, López, Carrasco, Amésquita and Peña that would reasonably assure the protection of the public or safety of the victims and the victims’ families and that there are no less restrictive means to protect the public and the victims and their families other than incarceration. She granted bail for Acevedo, who subsequently posted bond and was released.
Much of the preliminary hearing proceedings so far dealt with the September 3 Pomona incidents. In the first of those, a victim who worked as a security guard, identified by the prosecution as John Doe 1, was chased by several Enamorados into El Super market after he had a verbal altercation with a street vendor. Inside El Super, according to the prosecution witnesses, he was subjected to verbal harassment by Edin Enamorado, knocked to the ground and then pepper-sprayed. In the second Pomona incident, another victim, identified in court as John Doe 2, was assaulted, according to the prosecution, after several of the Enamorados went to the Pomona Police headquarters to protest the arrest of Luján as a consequence of the first incident. Luján is variously described as Edin Enamorado’s girlfriend, fiancé or wife.
Testifying before Judge Zahara Arredondo on January 3 and 4 were Pomona Police officer Juan Ruiz and Edgar Rodriguez and Pomona Police Detective Travis Johnson.
Under questioning by Wilkinson, the witnesses indicated the assaults had taken place. Cross examination by Rosenberg was aimed toward establishing that the investigators had not fleshed out the claims of the victims with any further documentation and had not investigated the matter beyond taking the statements of the victims.
There was further testimony pertaining to the Victorville incident on September 24 by San Bernardino County Sheriff’s deputies Mark Valencia and Jonathan Ortega San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Detective Alejandro Duran and prosecution witness Blake Foyle, under both the direct examination of Deputy District John Richardson and the cross examination by defense counsel.
Representing Edin Enamorado is attorney Nicolas Rosenberg. Representing Lujan was Christian Contreras. Arsany Said represented Edwin Rene Pena. Defense Counsel Dan Eugene Chambers represented Gullit “Jaguar” Acevedo. Damon Alimouri represents Carrasco.
The Victorville incident involved a woman and man who were the driver and passenger, respectively, in a Hyundai that was at a car wash near the intersection of McArt Road and Palmdale Road during a protest the Enamorados were participating in that targeted the sheriff’s department over a deputy’s mistreatment of a student at a high school football game in Victorville on September 22. After the Hyundai was hemmed in and unable to exit the car wash parking lot onto Palmdale Road because of a continuous parade of protesters on the sidewalk and the street gutter in front of the car, the woman began sounding her horn. When the man emerged from the vehicle, he was assailed by several of the Enamorados, who accused him of hitting one of the women protesters with the car door. They knocked him to the ground several times and pepper sprayed him.
Rosenberg attempted with his questioning to demonstrate that the deputies had less than an exact fix on which of the defendants were involved in the assault and pepper spraying of the Hyundai passenger.
An issue that surrounds the prosecution of the case is that of venue. While the San Bernardino County Superior Court is the proper forum for the filing of charges pertaining to the September 24 Victorville incident, Pomona falls within Los Angeles County. Though Rosenberg has not lodged any official protest or motion with regard to the venue issue, a statement he made outside the court indicates he will take up that matter up either with the trial court or the appellate court.

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