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YOLO COUNTY NEWS
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Davis man, 19, arrested in hate-crime beating case

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From page A1 | March 15, 2013 |

A Davis teen already facing assault charges in Solano County was arrested Thursday in connection with last weekend’s brutal beating of a gay man on I Street.

Clayton Daniel Garzon, 19, was taken into custody at the Davis Police Department at about 10 a.m., Lt. Glenn Glasgow said. By about 3:30 p.m., he was being released from the Yolo County Jail after posting $75,000 bail, a jail spokeswoman said.

Garzon is suspected of brutally beating Davis resident Lawrence “Mikey” Partida, 32, outside a house in the 300 block of I Street, where a party had taken place earlier that night.

Police arrested Garzon, a student, on charges including assault causing great bodily injury, committing a hate crime, assault with a deadly weapon, stalking, inflicting bodily injury during the commission of a felony and committing a felony while on release from custody, Glasgow said in a news release. However, those charge may be modified by the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office.

Garzon is scheduled to be arraigned April 12 in Yolo Superior Court. Online records indicate his family lives not far from the alleged crime scene on I Street, but the listed phone number had been disconnected as of Thursday.
The teen also is being prosecuted in Solano County in connection with a Sept. 9, 2012, brawl on Bounds Drive in Dixon that left five men in their early 20s injured with either stab wounds or head trauma, according to media reports of the incident. A 16-year-old boy from Carmichael also was arrested.

Garzon’s next court date in that case is March 21, online court records show.

According to a Facebook page established to provide updates about the beating case, Partida was en route to retrieve a set of keys at his cousin’s residence at about 3:50 a.m. when he was attacked, leaving him with injuries including a fractured skull, bleeding to his brain and a large laceration to the back of his head. He was unconscious when emergency personnel arrived on scene.

Partida, a clerk at the Davis Food Co-op, was being transferred from the UC Davis Medical Center to a rehabilitation facility in Sacramento as news of the arrest broke. Today, his mother Gloria Partida emailed a comment she had posted on her Facebook page, saying she had seen a photo of her son’s alleged assailant.
“Looking at it, above all the anger and sadness, I thought of my grandson who has just lost his two front teeth and of my boys and their long ago toothless smiles,” she wrote. “I thought about how I feel so powerless to protect my babies. Not just from attacks without but from attacks within. When that unraveling transition between children and adults begins are we at the mercy of fate to wait and see if beauty or horror is revealed.”
Partida also wrote that her son “said nothing, just looked away” when told of Garzon’s release from jail. On his way to physical therapy today, he said, “It sucks that I’m here and he’s comfortably at home.”
Partida’s sexual orientation is believed to be the motivation for the assault “at least partially,” Glasgow said in a news release announcing the arrest. “Derogatory words regarding sexual orientation were used both prior to and after the attack.”

But Glasgow declined to release additional information about the incident in an interview Thursday, including the basis for the stalking charge being sought.

“We understand that people want a lot of details about what happened, but it’s really incumbent upon us to preserve the integrity of the case so there is a successful prosecution,” Glasgow said.

Glasgow did confirm that Garzon was the second injured person that police encountered when they arrived at the crime scene Sunday, but that officers had insufficient cause to arrest him at the time.

“It’s a serious incident, and it really required a thorough investigation” involving numerous witnesses and pieces of physical evidence, Glagow said. “An investigation that is this complex just takes time, and we have to ensure that we have a case that can be prosecuted.

“We did not have a huge fear that he was going to disappear on us,” Glasgow added.

Garzon’s father, Hernando Garzon, is a Kaiser Permanente emergency-room physician who has been honored multiple times for his work at disaster scenes, from Ground Zero following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to earthquake-torn regions of Haiti, according to Davis Enterprise archives.

News of an arrest in the case came as a relief to Sandeep Dahal, a resident of I Street who arrived home from his job at nearby KetMoRee early Sunday to discover his neighborhood swarming with police and other emergency personnel.

“This was a pretty heinous crime,” said Dahal, 30, who grew up in Davis and graduated from Davis High the year after Partida.

Dahal said he recently moved back to Davis from midtown Sacramento, only to have a sexual assault and Sunday’s beating occur on their street within months of each other.

“We moved here because we thought it was a little bit safer, but apparently you have to look out wherever you are,” Dahal said. “Everyone likes to think of it as a little utopia, but there’s still some underlying issues.”

— Reach Lauren Keene at lkeene@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8048. Follow her on Twitter at @laurenkeene

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