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Thursday, November 20, 2008

[CA] Vice Mayor Dickenson on trial for assault of ex girlfriend

...Prosecutor Triscia Povah showed the jury of six men and six women photos of the abrasions taken on the day of the incident... The trial will resume today at 9:15 a.m...


Oakland Tribune
Will Oremus
Jul 24, 2008
[Excerpts] Belmont Vice Mayor Bill Dickenson intends to keep his position on the city council after being jailed on suspicion of domestic battery. "This has nothing to do with my role in Belmont as an elected official," Dickenson said Thursday. "I will not let mistruths tarnish my reputation." Redwood City police were called to the RWC Underground Pub at 4:30 p.m. on July 11 by Dickenson's ex-girlfriend, who runs the business with him. "They had an argument. Mr. Dickenson grabbed the victim's purse, swung her to the ground and told her she couldn't leave," police Capt. Chris Cesena said. He said the woman's left arm and armpit were bruised, and her right shoulder was scratched. Dickenson, 41, was arrested and held at San Mateo County Jail until about midnight. The case has been forwarded to the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office for review by its domestic violence unit. Because it involves a high-profile individual, top officials in the office will review the final decision on whether to prosecute, said Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe... Dickenson said he was the one attacked in the altercation... Dickenson added he believes his ex-girlfriend called the police in order to blackmail him into staying in business with her... Belmont Mayor Warren Lieberman said he didn't know the details of Dickenson's arrest but hopes it proves not to be a serious issue. "Bill has been a very effective councilman, and I have a lot of respect for him," Lieberman said. Staff Writer Michael Manekin contributed to this report. E-mail Will Oremus at woremus@dailynewsgroup.com. [Full article here]

Oakland Tribune
Aug 12, 2008
[Excerpts]...Dickenson was arrested and released after posting $10,000 bail. Shortly after his arrest last month, Dickenson said that he is the real victim, claiming that the woman hit him in the head with her purse when he tried to end their business partnership. He also stated that he did not knock the woman to the ground and that the charges against him will not affect his work on the Belmont City Council. "I did not touch her, I did not grab her, I did not have any physical contact with her," Dickenson said at the time. "This has nothing to do with my role in Belmont as an elected official. I will not let mistruths tarnish my reputation." While Dickenson says that the woman called the police in order to blackmail him into staying in business with her, San Mateo Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said that her version of the story is proving to be more plausible. "We did some follow-up investigation ... (and) there are additional facts that corroborate her description of what occurred and not his," Wagstaffe said... [Full article here]

19 Nov 2008 21:10
[Excerpts] Belmont Vice Mayor Bill Dickenson and his ex-girlfriend both testified in San Mateo County Superior Court today that each caused injury to the other during an argument in July... Dickenson pleaded not guilty Sept. 17 to one count of domestic violence and one count of false imprisonment, and could spend up to a year in county jail if convicted, Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said. The charges stem from Dickenson's arrest July 11 after he and his ex-girlfriend [JM] got into a fight at the Redwood City Underground, a pub owned by [JM] and where Dickenson had been hired as a consultant. The two said they dated on and off from September or October 2007 to May 2008. Both said the fight on July 11 started in the afternoon while the two were in the pub's upstairs office. They initially argued about business matters, but [JM] said the topic then turned to their relationship. [JM] testified she tried to leave after Dickenson began calling her names, but that Dickenson blocked both the front and back doors and told her she couldn't leave. Dickenson admitted he called her a name during the argument and that he regretted it. [JM] said she then went to the bar to put down the glass of Red Bull she was holding, and Dickenson allegedly grabbed her purse, which was hanging on her shoulder, and yanked on it until she fell on her back, at which point she said he dragged her by the purse for five or six feet. "I was shocked and stunned," [JM] said. She then called 911 because "I didn't think he was ever going to let me leave." Dickenson testified, however, that [JM] approached him and struck him on the head with her purse, spilling her drink on him. "It stung me," Dickenson said. "I saw stars, and felt wet on my head ... and assumed Red Bull had been spilled on me, but then I smelled vodka"... [Full article here]

San Jose Mercury Daily News
By Shaun Bishop
[Excerpts] ...Dickenson, 42, and the woman both testified Wednesday, giving much different accounts of what happened the afternoon of July 11 inside Redwood City Underground at 2650 Broadway. What happened in the hours before Wednesday's trial began also came up, as Dickenson's attorney, Jeffrey Jackson, started his questioning of the woman by asking: "How many drinks have you had today?" "I didn't drink today," she replied. Later, Jackson asked Redwood City police Officer Mark Alifano if he noticed anything unusual about the woman Wednesday morning. "I noticed a faint smell of alcohol as she walked past me" about 8:10 a.m., said Alifano, adding that she did not seem impaired when she testified later... A Redwood City officer who responded to the woman's call, Allen Wang, testified that she didn't show any signs of intoxication, though he said he did not perform a sobriety test. Officer Alifano testified that he noticed Dickenson's ear was red, but said he did not write that observation in a domestic violence report because he did not consider it an injury. The police report noted the woman had redness near her left armpit and also on the back of her opposite shoulder. Prosecutor Triscia Povah showed the jury of six men and six women photos of the abrasions taken on the day of the incident. Judge Forcum ended testimony for the day with Dickenson still on the stand being questioned by his attorney. The trial will resume today at 9:15 a.m. E-mail Shaun Bishop at sbishop@dailynewsgroup.com. [Full article here]

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