Six months in jail for reckless driving, harassment
June 7, 2013
A 36-year-old man was sentenced Wednesday to six months in Douglas County Jail for reckless driving and harassment.
East Fork Justice Pro Tem Paul Gilbert told Anthony Robert Diaz that he wasn't living in Los Angeles and his behavior was unacceptable.
Diaz was arrested on the misdemeanor charges within two days on May 1 and May 3. Gilbert sentenced Diaz to two consecutive six-month terms in jail, but suspended one sentence and placed him on two years probation.
He was ordered to stay 100 yards away from the harassment victim and his business in the Southgate industrial park.
The victim said Diaz threatened bodily harm and "was on a mission to cause trouble," when he came into his business to complain about parking spaces.
He said Diaz had been banned from the businesses after his outburst.
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"He used his 2-month-old baby as a shield," when deputies arrived on the scene, the victim said.
Diaz said both incidents were "all misunderstandings."
"We said some things to each other," he said. "I didn't even know about the reckless driving."
"He didn't just 'say things,'" said prosecutor Erik Levin. "He threatened physical violence. He was not just driving fast, it was close to 100 mph. He passed cars on the shoulder. When police came looking for him, he was hiding in a building, and wouldn't come out."
When Diaz was taken into custody for reckless driving, he reportedly told the deputy, "One guy cut me off, so I cut him off. It's an L.A. thing. You cut them back off, make them pull over and you handle business."
Levin also pointed out that Diaz had a criminal history dating to 1994.
"That this type of behavior is unacceptable is an understatement," Gilbert said. "You're just lucky you didn't kill anybody, or kill your own child."
He gave Diaz credit for 36 days in custody.
■ Charges will be dismissed in a year against a man for resisting a public officer when he kept trying to go back in his burning Toler Lane home.
Ralph Milton Gallette, 50, pleaded guilty Wednesday to resisting a public officer.
If he violates no laws in the next year, the case will be dismissed.
He told East Fork Justice Pro Tem Paul Gilbert that the day of the fire, April 3, he was cooking dinner and his wife was asleep in the master bedroom.
He said candles were lit in the house, and a plastic litter box caught on fire.
Gallette said he got his wife and two dogs out of the house, and went back in to try to put the fire out.
Gilbert set his next appearance for June 6, 2014, for dismissal of the charge.
Gallette's $637 bail was exonerated.
■ Sentencing is July 10 for a 26-year-old man who pleaded guilty Wednesday to disorderly conduct after he was accused of trying to break into a vehicle, and taking a swing at the owner who came out to investigate the early morning incident.
Spike Bryce Agosta pleaded guilty Wednesday, and told East Fork Justice Pro Tem Paul Gilbert he couldn't remember everything that happened May 29.
"I got a little drunk — actually more than a little — and made a fool of myself. I made some bad choices I don't really remember," Agosta said.
A preliminary breath test indicated his blood-alcohol content at .212, nearly three times the legal limit for driving.
Gilbert ordered Agosta to get a substance abuse evaluation before he returns for sentencing and stay away from the victim.
According to reports, deputies were called to a residence in the 1400 block of Grendon Way in Chichester Estates for a vehicle burglary in progress just before 4 a.m.
When deputies arrived, Agosta was sitting on the driveway next to a pool of vomit. He was dressed in a T-shirt and shorts but no shoes or socks. He was unable to tell deputies how he got to the residence.
The victim said he was sitting in his living room when he heard what sounded like someone outside his open window.
He said he watched the suspect attempt to gain entry to his vehicle by checking door handles. He said he went outside, and Agosta swung at him, but he was able to deflect the punch and hit Agosta in the face.