Joseph Luis Richcreek, 55, the Monterey Park man charged with two counts of battery against South Pasadena Black Lives Matter protestors, pled not guilty at an arraignment Oct. 23 at the County Courthouse in Alhambra. Richcreek, who was seen days earlier riding a bike, appeared in court with a cane and wearing what appeared to be a brace on his right arm.
The case will be set on December 16, though Richcreek’s counsel sought more time to review evidence and to seek additional photos from the police.
According to witnesses and a video tape of the incident Richcreek, a serial offender who is white, spat at BLM protesters while sitting on his bike at the corner of Fair Oaks and Mission on July 8. Two days later, according to witnesses, he rode by again and cursed at the protestors, who followed him. About a half block south on Fair Oaks Richcreek stopped, picked up a rock and threw it at protestor Fahren James, a black woman, hitting her lower left leg.
James and her allies have raised a series of concerns about how South Pasadena police handled these incidents, arguing it reflected racism on the part of the police. These and other incidents were the subject of a press conference James and allied groups held Wednesday in front of City Hall to focus attention on the incidents and urge pressure on the City Council for greater accountability.
One of those incidents took place Oct. 3 when Richard Cheney drove a truck across several lanes of traffic onto the sidewalk to confront James, who was at the same corner putting up a protest sign. James complained Cheney was not immediately cited or arrested.
During Wednesday’s City Council meeting, City Manager Sean Joyce said the Cheney investigation has been a “high priority” for the department. He said a thorough investigation is now complete and will be turned over the LA District Attorney “for review and filing consideration.”
“We abhor racism in any form,” Joyce added, noting the city’s recent re-affirmation of its commitment to diversity in Resolution 7491. “Acts of discrimination and crimes motivated by hatred toward a person’s affiliation with any protected classification, their viewpoint, or its expressions, have no place in our community and won’t be tolerated by the city.
“We strive to serve everyone equally and with empathy and integrity, while acknowledging that we may occasionally fall short of the justifiably high expectations of us.”
This is a developing story, stay tuned for more updates