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Friday, February 01, 2008

Sheriff Prieto's Attack is Scrutinized

Local news stations report that Yolo County Sheriff Ed Prieto had a run in with two individuals on the street, but that those individuals tried to mess with the wrong person.

As the Woodland Daily Democrat reports,
"Sacramento resident Jerry Monk, 35, was scheduled to appear at the Yolo County Court house for a pre-trial conference as a defendant in a criminal matter. Afterward, he and his friend, fellow Sacramentan Ontriel Darnell Jones, 24, walked down the south sidewalk of Court Street, when they approached a man walking down the same street. For reasons unknown, Jones and Monk, verbally accosted the man, sarcastically asking what there was to do in Woodland, employing profanity in the process. The man they asked happened to be 6-foot-5, 275-pound Yolo County Sheriff E.G. Prieto. He was dressed in street clothes. In retrospect, the two men probably wished they never stepped into Woodland. "
The Sheriff reportedly asked the men to stop, asked them for IDs, believed they were going to attack him.
"Prieto flashed them his badge. They walked away. Prieto ordered them to stop, twice. They didn't. The 64-year-old sheriff then reached for one of the suspect's arms and that's when Prieto said he made a move to attack him. "He looked like he was going punch me," Prieto said. Prieto then subdued the suspect by throwing him to the ground and held him there while fending off the other suspect."
However, the television news coverage casts a different version of the story. There the suspects claim that in fact the Sheriff provoked them by shouting out homophobic remarks. The Sheriff of course denies this version.

However watch this video from KCRA News 3 in Sacramento.

There is no way of knowing of course who is telling the truth in this case and whether or not the Sheriff made homophobic remarks.

However, there are portions of this story that do not make a lot of sense.

For instance, if these men were looking for trouble, why target the 6-7, 275 pound Sheriff? Even if they do not know he's the Sheriff, he seems about the last person in the world, you would want to mess with.

Second, when they show the men in question, they look to be rather small, in fact, they look like combined they are smaller than the Sheriff? Did he really feel threatened by them? Did he really feel like *they* were going to attack him?

Finally, when the subjects are interviewed, they are not interviewed in jail. Why is it that two men who were in court for drug charges would be out free the day after attacking the Sheriff?

Obviously everything that the Sheriff claims could be true, but from what I saw on the newscast, his story really does not seem to add up, but decide for yourself.

---Doug Paul Davis reporting