Friday, February 27, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Hate crime victim: I’ll be more vigilant

Vigil1W

By
From page A1 | March 17, 2013 |

SACRAMENTO — Lawrence “Mikey” Partida’s days begin at 7 a.m. with a shower, a once-simple task that for now requires the assistance of hospital staff.

From there, he goes to rounds of physical, occupational and speech therapy to rebuild skills he lost when an alleged hate-crime beating on March 10 fractured his skull and caused bleeding to his brain. He’s also under the care of a neurological psychologist and is taking both pain and anti-seizure medications.

“I’ve noticed slower movements,” Partida said in an interview Friday evening at the Sacramento acute rehabilitation facility where he expects to spend at least the next two weeks, and possibly as long as a month, as he continues his recovery.

Five days after the early-morning assault on I Street, the longtime Davis resident’s face remained significantly bruised, with cuts in various stages of healing and his right eye still swollen shut under a thick pad of gauze.

“He’s a little uncoordinated and his thinking is slow, but that’s consistent with a head injury,” said his mother, Gloria Partida, also from Davis. “He’s able to do a little more every day.”

On Thursday, the same day Partida was transferred to the rehab facility from the UC Davis Medical Center, Davis police announced the arrest of 19-year-old Clayton Daniel Garzon on assault, hate crime and other charges in connection with the beating. Within hours, Garzón was released from the Yolo County Jail after posting a $75,000 bail bond.

A week later, the incident continues to elicit both sadness and outrage in the Davis community, where an estimated 300 people gathered at Central Park for a candlelight vigil in Partida’s honor on Saturday night. The city’s Human Relations Commission is expected to discuss the incident at its next meeting Thursday, March 28.

“A hate crime against one member of our community is an assault against all of us,” Davis Mayor Pro Tem Dan Wolk said Saturday. “There is no place for hate or violence in Davis, and we hope that our unity serves as a reminder of this. Our hearts and thoughts are with Mikey and his family.”

Said Partida, “I never thought I’d be that big of a movement. I’m just trying to take it day by day. But I don’t want to be quiet about it. Anyone else that’s gone through something like this, they should be able to speak out about it, and feel OK about speaking out about it.”

Details emerge

The attack occurred shortly before 4 a.m. outside Partida’s cousin’s house in the 300 block of I Street, where family and friends earlier that night had held a party in honor of Partida’s 32nd birthday.

Garzon lives across the street in the Old East Davis neighborhood. No one answered a knock at the door of the home Friday afternoon, and the listed phone number remained disconnected as of Saturday.

On the other side of the street, two Davis police detectives conducted a follow-up interview Friday with Partida’s cousin, Vanessa Turner, who was with Partida on the night of the beating.

Davis police Lt. Glenn Glasgow said Partida’s sexual orientation is believed to have triggered the assault “at least partially,” with anti-gay slurs allegedly being used by the suspect “both prior to and after the attack.”

Like Partida, Turner declined to go into specific detail about the incident on the advice of Davis police, who say they want to preserve the integrity of the case as it proceeds toward the court system.

But Turner did say that Garzon, whom she had spoken to on several occasions but did not know well, tried to get her attention as she and Partida walked away from their cousin’s house just before the attack. She said Partida instructed her to stand on the street corner as he went back to the house for a forgotten set of keys.

“He was very concerned with my safety and made me stay back,” Turner said.

What neither she nor Partida knew was that Garzon, along with a 16-year-old boy from Carmichael, had been arrested six months earlier in connection with a brawl at a Dixon house party that left four men with stab wounds and a fifth with head trauma, according to media accounts. The case is still pending in Solano Superior Court.

“I had no idea,” Turner said. “Maybe if I had known, it would have been different that night.”

Partida said he was shocked to learn of Garzon’s quick release from jail, given his prior arrest and the nature of the allegations in both cases.

“It really pissed me off,” he said.

Garzon is scheduled to be arraigned April 12 in Yolo Superior Court. Formal charges have not yet been filed by the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office, which as of Friday was still awaiting police reports on the case, Chief Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Raven said.

“Once we receive them we’ll review them and make a charging decision,” Raven said. “Obviously, we take these type of cases very seriously.”

Community rallies

The Partidas say they continue to be bolstered by the support they’ve received in the past week. The Facebook page “Mikey’s Justice Fund,” established to share information about Partida’s condition and collect donations toward his ongoing medical care, had surpassed 2,000 “likes” as of Saturday.

To lift her son’s spirits, Gloria Partida reads aloud from the hundreds of posts left on the page, some from as far away as Canada and Germany from people Partida has never even met.

She said she hopes her son’s ordeal will spur something bigger and for the greater good, “that people who are embarrassed or isolated or afraid will look at this incident and realize there is tolerance and people who are accepting.”

Meanwhile, Mikey Partida said he’s started thinking about his return to Davis, where he was raised since age 6 and, until now, has lived without feeling threatened, he said.

“I’m going to have to focus on my way of life now, be more vigilant about my surroundings,” said Partida, who noted that he’s more wary of strangers than he was a week ago.

But Partida said he still plans to take part in the activities he enjoys, such as long-distance running and his job as a grocery clerk at the Davis Food Co-op, which has pledged $1,000 toward his recovery fund. A local studio has offered him free yoga classes.

“This is where he’s built his life,” Gloria Partida said. “I’ve always told my kids they should be hard-working and accountable and kind, and their lives will be what they want.”

She paused, then added: “This doesn’t really hold up.”

“One bad apple in a bowl,” her son responded. “You’ve just got to move on and be optimistic about the future.”

— Reach Lauren Keene at [email protected] or 530-747-8048. Follow her on Twitter at @laurenkeene

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Mother arrested for death of baby Justice Rees

    By Lauren Keene | From Page:

     
     
    New greenhouse will add to ‘Farm to Mouth’ program

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Learn about pollinators, gardens and honey at Yolo Basin fundraiser

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    For the record

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

    Fire damages South Davis home

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Can you give them a home?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Gerber nominations close Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Explorit: Humming right along

    By Lisa Justice | From Page: A3

     
    Flower arrangers feature S.F. designer

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Celebrate Africa on Saturday at I-House

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Wolk and Dodd team up to provide Napa earthquake tax relief

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Robb Davis to speak about homelessness, energy

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Spring sing-along is March 4

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Chamber explores how to pay for Davis’ needs

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Take a night walk at Cache Creek

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Class of 1970 plans 45-year reunion

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Bicycle safety course to be offered in Davis

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Documentary on immigration issues will be screened

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

    Learn about your brain on March 14

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    A fill-up mishap

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

    Two free yoga classes offered March 12

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Adopt a household for Bridge to Housing participants

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

    Workshop will teach sustainable gardening methods

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    .

    Forum

    Tired of all of this

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Here an H, there an H

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B6

    Cavalier attitude about bike safety

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B6

     
    Start early to build healthy dental habits

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B6

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: B6

    No extra cost for containers

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B6

     
    Oral Health Project launches

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B6

    .

    Sports

    Inquiring minds want to know about Aggies

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

     
    Encouraging start for DHS boys tennis team

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Off day for Aggie men at UCSB

    By Kim Orendor | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Aggie women fall to 4th after lackluster showing

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Lady Devils are on to the SJS semis

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Blue Devil boys expect a spike in production

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Late goal lifts Red Wings over Sharks

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

     
    Watney struggling at windy Honda Classic

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12

     
    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    International Film Series to present ‘Jaffa’

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

     
    Monticello announces March schedule

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

    The Artery presents ‘Stepping Into Nature’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10 | Gallery

     
    YoloArts’ Gallery 625 presents ‘The Poetry of Dots’

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10 | Gallery

    ‘Focus': A sharply conceived caper

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    The Woodland Opera House announces 2015-16 season

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12 | Gallery

    .

    Business

    Nissan’s Z remains an affordable performer

    By Ann M. Job | From Page: B3

     
    Car Care: Simple DIY steps to protect your car through all seasons

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

     
    .

    Obituaries

    Dieter W. Gruenwedel

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    George Miller Jr.

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Death notice: Celia E. Recchio

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Vernon E. Burton

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Friday, February 27, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B5