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Hammer vs Gavel: Some Would Call It Frivolous

YV HammergateWhat may seem like a case of “Elder Abuse,” charging an 80 year old man with assault and suing him for $5,000 in Small Claims court for “injuries, pain and suffering including a past due ambulance bill from June 26, 2013, Steve Hawkins, age 56, had his day in court Monday at 1:30 pm.  Hawkins was suing Bob Sturges for $5,000 to pay for the ambulance bill that took him from his residence to the hospital.  The ambulance company recently took Hawkins to court for past due payment.

On June 26, 2013, Hawkins violated the Elections Code for disturbing the peaceful signature gathering effort by the Recall proponents stationed at the corner of Hwy 247 & Hwy 62 in the rural town of Yucca Valley. The District Attorney recently decided not to prosecute however, has not released the police report.  Bob Sturges was not allowed to obtain a copy of this police report for his defense because he was told by the San Bernardino Sheriff Department he was the “suspect,” and the DA’s office has a hold on the police report.

11954217511527806368hammer_david_benjamin_01.svg_.med_The attached police report, obtained by Ron Cohen, has been redacted and is only one page of a more extensive report.  Cohen gave his statement to the police, also attached, and it is not known if that was included in the police report since it is being withheld.  According to the one page police report, there were no injuries.  The summons, attached, states Hawkins contacted Sturges demanding payment submitted under penalty of perjury, which was a lie.  Sturges had no knowledge of this claim by Hawkins until that day which he was served.

Hawkins, 56, resident of Yucca Valley since 1985, is the owner of Desert Pacific Exterminators and a member of “Extreme Wheelers 4 Christ” a group organized through Joshua Springs Calvary Chapel.

Sturges,80, resident of Morongo Basin for 28 years is retired enjoying his hobby of selling at the local swap meet on the weekends.

The Hearing

The room had been cleared out by dismissals or rulings on the previous 11 cases presented in Small Claims court, Room M4, before hearing the Hawkins vs Sturges lawsuit.

Here is the short version:

The Judge did not want to hear about the election code, felt the “Gadfly” Montgomery’s claim of Hawkins chasing everyone with a hammer was NOT substantiated by the numerous photos taken by Montgomery and kept questioning the injuries claimed. (The judge called Ed a gadfly.)

Hawkins claimed that Sturges pushed him twice and stood on his plywood sign so he called the police. The judge asked Hawkins, “Was that your testimony?” And he answered “YES!”

The next witness was called and Ron Cohen told the judge there was a big problem with Hawkins testimony because it was he (Cohen) that stood on the plywood sign and pushed Hawkins with an open palm…only once!

Then Denise Cohen was questioned by the judge. She stated she saw the whole thing from her car about 50 feet away. She said Sturges was not around during the pushing. He arrived later standing behind her husband.

It was Ron Cohen’s blunt testimony quoting the expletives that Hawkins was shouting (while holding a hammer) to demonstrate to the judge that he had to take the defensive stance of pushing Hawkins in the chest with an open palm.

The Judge ruled in favor of the Defendant.

Hawkins is not a happy camper…

gavelThe Fire Department won a judgment against Hawkins on August 18, 2014, for over $1,900 for non payment of an ambulance trip. And Hawkins said his insurance company denied payment of his E.R. bills in excess of $1,600.

As a consolation prize, the Judge assured Hawkins during the testimony that he had every right to be on that same corner with his sign, obviously, not aware of the Elections Code protecting the signature gatherers. Story: Election Code Trumps Free Speech>LINK

It was an informative session to hear all the previous cases. The judge was very sharp and remained focused on resolving the money issues.

It has been stressful to us to have this hanging over our heads. Bob was served when I was just out of surgery and he was holding down the fort as Mr. Mom!

We are very thankful that Ron and Denise gave their testimony and time this afternoon. We arrived at 1 PM and were all walking out of the courtroom to the parking lot at 4:30 PM!

Two stories appeared in Cactus Thorns:

Film at 11:00: Hammer Gate http://www.vote29.com/newmyblog/hammer-gate/

Did Jesus tell him to do it? http://www.vote29.com/newmyblog/did-jesus-tell-him-to-do-it/

Three witnesses have volunteered to attend the Small Claims Court this Monday at 1:30 PM in support of Sturges, however, it is not certain if the Judge will allow them to give any testimony.

I wanted you to have all the documents on this matter.

 

 



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One Response to Hammer vs Gavel: Some Would Call It Frivolous

  1. Branson Hunter

    Branson Hunter

    August 26, 2014 at 8:53 am

    Thanks for putting this story up Margo. What is also interesting is the display of integrity by Ron Cohen before the commissioner. I would certainly vote for Ron Cohen for Y.V. town council

    Read the story… .

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