DA eyes felony charge in alleged attack on Fairfield officer

By From page A4 | March 29, 2014

FAIRFIELD — A misdemeanor battery charge against a 22-year-old man accused of attacking a Fairfield police officer at Lee Bell Park is under review by the Solano County District Attorney’s Office, which may seek to amend the battery to a felony charge.

“We are investigating the nature and extent of the injury to the police officer,” John Daughtery, chief deputy district attorney, said Friday. “We need to sort out what happened to him.”

Three misdemeanor charges were filed March 6 against Blake Brandon Cooper after the March 4 incident at the park that left Officer Steve Garcia injured.

Daughtery said police checked the felony box on the arrest and detention form completed on Cooper but that the 243(b) battery on a police officer – included in the form along with resisting arrest and assault on a police dog – can only be charged as a misdemeanor. Penal Code Section 243(c) represents a felony, Daughtery said.

The chief deputy district attorney said he reviewed the file Thursday and if the prosecution seeks a felony battery charge, the District Attorney’s Office would amend the complaint against Cooper. The court would decide whether to allow the amended complaint, Daughtery said, but such requests are often routinely granted.

“What we charge is what we believe we can prove,” he said.

The District Attorney’s Office is awaiting a supplemental report from the Fairfield Police Department about the officer’s injuries.

“Anytime a police officer is injured in the line duty, it’s a huge matter to us,” Daughtery said.

Amendments to criminal charges, he said, are also made in other cases not involving an officer when prosecutors learn injuries to a person are more severe than first believed.

Fairfield Police Chief Walt Tibbet said the March 4 incident at Lee Bell Park that left Officer Garcia injured is more than a misdemeanor battery.

“There is no doubt,” he said. “That really deserves a felony charge.”

Fairfield City Councilman John Mraz, who worked in law enforcement for more than 30 years and served in the Fairfield Police Department from 1965-86, said it will be several months before Garcia can return to duty and that Cooper, if convicted, should be sent to prison.

“You’re not going to assault one of my cops and put him out for several months,” Mraz said.

Jenna Morton, deputy public defender, could not be reached for comment about Cooper’s case, which is scheduled for an April 22 pretrial conference in Solano County Superior Court.

Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or [email protected]

Ryan McCarthy


Discussion | 4 comments

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  • Rich GiddensMarch 28, 2014 - 6:13 pm

    John Daughtery is an Air Force Reserve OSi agent. I see him on base during his UTA weekends and I've watched agents going to the DA's office to chat with him. I always ask---''how's Major Jill Metzger doing and are you still lying and covering up for her?"

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  • my2centsMarch 29, 2014 - 7:00 am

    Really? A woman is attacked by her husband and the DA misidentifies him as someone else so the domestic violence is mischarged as a misdemeanor. When the DA corrects the identity of the abuser, they do not amend the complaint based on his prior criminal history!? Of course not, she's just a female domestic violence victim, not a police officer.

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  • YouracowardMarch 29, 2014 - 11:29 am

    This is political. DuBain is worried about the election and is afraid of losing the endorsement of FFPD to Krishna Abrams, that's why his mouth piece, John Daughtrey made a statement tto the press. This is not news. People are charged with battery everyday in this county. The cops always want a felony. This is not felony behavior. It was appropriately charged, the cops complain and once again the DA cowers because he's afraid to stand up, hold his ground and do the right thing. He will cower to the cops in hopes of securing their endorsement. DuBain is a coward and should not be re-elected.

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  • LoveMyCommunityMarch 29, 2014 - 7:43 pm

    @Youracoward, you should learn the proper use of your and you're. Am I missing something? A police officer was assaulted. Seems this warrants a higher charge than a misdemeanor. Your (proper use of your) disdain for the DA is apparent but IMO a second look at the charges by the DA's office has nothing to do with politics in this case.

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