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In re J. C.

California Court of Appeals, Third District, Sacramento

August 19, 2014

In re J. C., a Person Coming Under the Juvenile Court Law. THE PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent,
J. C., Defendant and Appellant.

APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of Sacramento County No. 135108, James P. Arguelles, Judge.

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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Robert McLaughlin, under appointment by the Court of Appeal, for Defendant and Appellant.

Kamala D. Harris, Attorney General, Dane R. Gillette, Chief Assistant Attorney General, Michael P. Farrell, Assistant Attorney General, Catherine Chatman and Raymond L. Brosterhous II, Deputies Attorney General, for Plaintiff and Respondent.



The minor, J. C., appeals from the order of the juvenile court declaring him a ward of the court. He contends that one of the two allegations the court sustained is not supported by sufficient evidence and that the other is founded on an unconstitutional statute. We affirm.


A May 2013 juvenile wardship petition as to 16-year-old J. C. alleged he willfully resisted, delayed, and obstructed Sacramento Police Officer Adam Feuerbach in the performance of his duty (Pen. Code, [1] § 148, subd. (a)(1)) and willfully disturbed a public school (Ed. Code, § 32210).

At the jurisdictional hearing, Officer Feuerbach, assigned to Kennedy High School, testified that around 12:45 p.m. on April 30, 2013, he received a call from the school administration about “an uncontrollable, irate student in the hallways.” Responding to the scene, he saw the minor, the school principal, campus monitor Sly, and another campus monitor, along with numerous

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students. (It was the lunch hour, and all the students eat then or mill around in the hallways.) The principal said he had directed the minor to go to his office and the minor was ignoring his orders. The minor was “visibly irate... and... cursing.”

Officer Feuerbach advised the minor that if he came with Feuerbach to the principal’s office, Feuerbach would instruct school personnel and security to stay behind. The minor complied, walking a few feet in front of him. But all the way to the office, the minor repeated, loudly enough to attract other students’ attention, that he was “going to punch that nigga Sly [the aforementioned campus monitor] in the face” and Sly “was going to get it.”

When they got to the principal’s office, the vice-principal advised the minor he was suspended. The minor kept on saying that he intended to punch Sly in the face, and he should have attacked Sly before when Sly had called him a bitch. The minor also said he would punch the vice-principal.

While in the office, the minor called his mother; he became more and more irate as he talked, “screaming [and] yelling” and pacing the floor. Officer Feuerbach told the minor he needed to sit down and calm down, but the minor did not listen. The minor slammed or threw the phone down on the table.

About three to five seconds after the minor failed to obey the order to sit down and calm down, Officer Feuerbach decided to detain him “based on my safety and safety of the school and also the [minor]’s.” Feuerbach advised the minor he was being detained and ordered him to put his hands on his head with his fingers interlaced. Feuerbach then tried to put a control hold on the minor by grabbing the minor’s interlaced hands with one hand and grabbing the minor’s elbow from underneath with the other hand. When Feuerbach touched the minor’s elbow, the minor turned, pulled away, and started to walk away. Feuerbach performed an arm bar takedown on the minor and detained him on the floor; he then handcuffed him and took him out to his squad car.

The minor’s mother testified on his behalf that the vice-principal called her during the lunch hour on April 30, 2013, to tell her the minor would be sent home for the day (not suspended). She heard the minor yelling in the background: “It’s a lie.” She did not hear him use profanity or threaten anyone. She asked to speak to him. During the two minutes or so that he was on the phone with her, he was starting to calm down. He set the phone down. She heard him say he was going home, and someone ordered him to stay there; he said he did not feel like sitting down. She heard a crash. A few seconds later, she heard him crying and asking, “[W]hy did you do this to me?” The vice-principal asked whether the mother was still on the phone,

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then the phone hung up. The mother tried to call back but was told the vice-principal was in conference with a student.

In rebuttal, Yvonne Esquivel, the vice-principal’s secretary, testified that when the minor was brought into the office, he was “extremely agitated... pacing back and forth in the office, very upset, using profanity.” He was saying he was “going to kick [a hall monitor]’s ass... going to F him up.” Officer Feuerbach said the minor could be arrested for that; the minor replied: “Well, if I’m going to be arrested, ... then I’m really going to fuck him up.” The vice-principal walked up to him and asked if they could talk; the minor replied: “[G]et away from... me nigger.” The vice-principal said the minor would be suspended, then went back into his inner office to call the minor’s mother. When the vice-principal handed the phone to the minor to talk to her, he was still loud, agitated, and profane. ...

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