Jury acquits homeless man of resisting arrest charge

By From page A3 | May 09, 2014

FAIRFIELD — A rookie deputy public defender, in her first jury trial since becoming an attorney a few months ago, beat the prosecution in a two-day trial.

It took jurors an hour to find a homeless man, Matthew W. Haskins, not guilty of a misdemeanor resisting arrest charge. His attorney, Catherine W. Kimel, left the courtroom smiling with a coworker while the prosecutor left wearing a stern look on his face.

The verdict came after a Sheriff’s Office security officer testified that Haskins tried to punch her, after a county probation officer testified he helped the security officer arrest Haskins and after a sheriff’s deputy testified that Haskins told him he had harassed a woman.

Haskins, 36, had been walking barefoot near the Fairfield courthouse on the afternoon of March 13 when he encountered a woman getting out of her car. The woman was frightened and told the nearby security officer she had been harassed. A short time later, Haskins walked by the lobby of the Probation Department, where the security officer was working.

The security officer testified she asked Haskins to stop and he kept walking. She followed him and caught up to him, and he turned and raised his fists. Then she pulled a baton and wrestled him to the ground, arresting him with the help of the probation officer.

Haskins denied harassing anybody, testifying that when he stopped and turned around, the security guard already had the baton raised and he had just raised his hands to protect his face.

“He was just a free citizen, walking down the street, minding his own business when he was approached from behind,” Kimel told jurors. “He did not commit any crime.”

Reach Jess Sullivan at 427-6919 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jsullivandr.

Jess Sullivan

Jess has covered the criminal justice system in Solano County for several years. He was an embedded reporter in Iraq in 2003.

Discussion | 14 comments

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  • Rich GiddensMay 08, 2014 - 7:53 pm

    Again, Jess fails to identify one of the 2 attorneys involved. He is doing this delibertly! Why? If he reports the prosecuting attorney ''left with a stern look on her face'' then he could identify her by NAME. Yet Jess Sullivan continually leaves the salient facts out. Why?

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  • No he didn't write this I didMay 09, 2014 - 12:26 am

    Why does that not surprise me. Some wanna be cop from the Solano County good ol boys net work cant handle the fact that she is just a security GUARD goes out and tries to play cop! Well bravo jurors good job its bad enough these fools will be running around Solano College acting al tough.

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  • No he didn't write this I didMay 09, 2014 - 12:27 am

    corrction typo all (al)

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  • No he didn't write this I didMay 09, 2014 - 12:28 am

    LOL I give up this a lesson never use your cell phone to type it has an auto correct , "correction" thank you.

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  • FF64May 09, 2014 - 2:15 am

    Wow! I keep thinking of the guy I arrested for a DV who spat in my face and the DA's Office declined to file on the assault, calling it a "De Minimis offense." They took this smoking turd to trial? I'm sure politics had nothing to do with it! It appears they didn't get the information for the original complainant, then used force to detain the guy when they had no victim. Not good. I'd be willing to bet the guy tried to beg for money from the woman. (A misdemeanor crime) The complainant left instead of standing by to place the guy under citizen's arrest. (Required for a misdemeanor not committed in the presence of the arresting officer.) This really went to trial???

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  • 2realMay 09, 2014 - 2:18 am

    I might have done the same thing. Some of the homeless are brazen and act like animals.

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  • More Election Campaigning, oops I mean more ReportingMay 09, 2014 - 5:40 am

    Way to get in your last minute campaigning Jess! Readers won't forget how you compromised you professional journalistic ethics during this campaign.

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  • StRMay 09, 2014 - 5:55 am

    above was not me...

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  • Rich GiddensMay 09, 2014 - 7:00 am

    Homeless dude should now parley his big victory into a Federal Civil Rights Lawsuit for excessive force and civil rights violations because he was arrested without probable cause or warrant. Then he won't be homeless---that jerk DuBain will! He should sue deep pockets DuBain for malicious prosecution.

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  • Rich GiddensMay 09, 2014 - 9:05 am

    Too bad government of traitors! Stop attacking the citizens! You and DuBain suck! Good job Ms. Kimel----you're off to a good start!

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  • Really?!May 09, 2014 - 10:49 am

    What a dumb case to report on. I'm fairly sure there were other cases going on in the Solano County Courts yesterday that were great victories for the DA's office...but you choose to report this one? Hmmm. I smell a campaign election rolling up and a last ditch effort to belittle the incumbent. I vote Don du Bain!

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  • BobMay 09, 2014 - 11:31 am

    A women is always going to be believed over a man Did he really even talk to the woman getting out of the car or did she feel scared and threatened? You see that too many times these days, the woman claims something that the guy did and the guy gets taken down Get the woman to swear an oath that he even talked to her or was he mumbling to himself. Bad moves by women all around because they felt entitled or threatened

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  • BSMay 09, 2014 - 9:46 pm

    Just wait til tomorrow folks and you'll read another good one. @FF64, this cop sounds like Adam Ponce. Tries to arrest a guy for committing no crime, but at lease she only used force and didn't execute the poor guy.

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  • Better to err on the side of cautionMay 09, 2014 - 11:36 pm

    Ponce is a good cop. If you obey the law he's there to protect you. If you don't, he will make your life hell. I'm glad he's on the streets protecting the citizens from the thugs, punks, and bums.

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