Feb 6, 2010

6th post.. Monetary Costs

to view all 6 posts check right side of this page.. click on 03 Sep (1st post) then follow that same list in dated sequence

Listed below...our out-of-pocket costs of approximately $35,000.00.. following the Pleasant Hill Police Department's handling of the unlawful actions of the son of our former mayor/ret. county sheriff's deputy, and our look-alike son's arrest, incarceration and aftermath.

No apology has been offered by the PHPD for their careless lack of effort, and inconceivable rush to judgment.
Nor have we been reimbursed one cent for these costs..


Criminal Defense Attorneys O'Malley and McKenna


Filing Claim Against the City/Attorney-Cardoza

Mediation costs


Court fees

Process Server charges

Jury fees

Medical Bills

Copies of Police Reports

Private Investigator

One Copy of Anthony's own Interrogation-- (The City of Pleasant Hill billed him over $100.00)

other miscellaneous costs..

Oct 6, 2009

5th post... Filing an Appeal

This page was created to answer those who have asked whether we've considered filing an appeal. Following the jury's verdict--that by law Anthony had been "identified" (even if through a corrupt, yet legal process)--our son was allowed 60 days within which to consider filing an appeal. We were involved in discussions regarding an appeal based on decisions made by Judge Baskin. One area of appeal related to a pre-trial probable cause ruling. Another area of appeal related to a pre-trial judgment which would not allow Anthony's attorney to question PHPD Chief Peter Dunbar, PHPD officers or others-in the jury's presence-regarding Escover's August, 2006 attempted car-jacking assault and what appeared to be favoritism afforded him following his arrest. Had Escover not been released from the Contra Costa County juvenile hall-with no charges filed-and had the PHPD followed through on lab tests for blood evidence on his clothing, we believe Escover would have remained incarcerated, not having the opportunity to strike again on January 4th, 2007, the attack for which the Pleasant Hill Police Department rushed to arrest and jail our son.
The jury could not be informed.

While discussing the appeal process and our options, Anthony received a letter from the City's outside legal counsel. Attorney Pete Edrington had been instructed by the City of Pleasant Hill to give Anthony an option. Within days he was to waive his right to appeal, otherwise the City would seek from him their costs and fees.. of five figures.


How much tax-payer money had representatives of the City of Pleasant Hill spent--over 2 & 1/2 years--defending the actions of the PHPD? Was this a matter of pay-whatever-it-takes to avoid being held accountable for the bungling disaster the Pleasant Hill Police Department created? The dollar amount compensated City Attorney Debra Margolis and outside legal counsel-Pete Edrington should be published.

end of 5th post.. check right side of this page to view 6th (dated) post

Oct 1, 2009

4th post

Included on this page...

Lt. Peter Enea's unsupported statement to the media.

Officer Scott Senst's initial claim he didn't have time to admonish witnesses.

The PHPD did not apologize to Anthony for their countless mistakes, rush to judgment, lack of effort, etc., etc..


..continued examples of the PHPD's investigative process, and reporting...

Following Anthony's arrest, Lt. Peter Enea was quoted in the Contra Costa Times saying school records were "spotty" as far as Anthony leaving the College Park High School campus that afternoon. Confused by Lt. Enea's claim, Anthony/we inquired as to who Lt. Enea had spoken to in determining Anthony's school records were "spotty?" In speaking with the College Park High Principal, she was aware of no one from the Pleasant Hill Police Department having inquired as to the pass Anthony had properly obtained, which included a school administrator's signature, and the time of day Anthony exited the campus, approximately 1 and a 1/2 hours before the assault occurred. This document had been placed in his school office file following the parking lot attendant having received it from Anthony.
Det. Kelli Geis's documented statement in her official police report--forwarded to the District Attorney for possible felony charges--says Freitas "claimed" to have signed himself out of school..."

There was nothing "spotty" related to Anthony's school record as was reported to the media by Lt. Enea. When questioned during his deposition Lt. Enea couldn't recall making this published statement.
Asked whether he reads the newspaper and saw the statement attributed to him, Lt. Enea responded that he had, in fact, not contacted the Contra Costa Times to tell the specific reporter he was either misquoted, or had not made that statement.
Lt. Enea was subpoenaed, though he did not take the stand during the trial.
Although questioned in writing, PHPD Chief Dunbar did not respond with an explanation as to this publicly stated, yet unsupported claim made by Lt. Enea following Anthony's arrest.

According to a particular article, Lt. Enea also stated to the media that the "victim and witnesses" identified Freitas as the stabber. There's no mention to the media of the victim and witnesses being "congregated together" within 2 to 3 feet of each other during the suspect ID process, or the PHPD having used a single photo sheet with first and last names included under each student's photo. There's no mention to the media of Officer Senst's investigative failure to admonish witnesses (see below) that the possible suspect "Anthony-on-the-baseball-team" may or may not be included in the photos being shown (though he'd handed them a single sheet which included one "Anthony"-the one on the baseball team). Nor is there mention of the witness who had chosen a different male student as a possible suspect. Nothing in the PHPD's initial press release (though they were aware of it) tells of Anthony's immediately stated alibi, four credible adults at the home where he worked on the Economics Class project. Captain John Moore had been given immediate details of Anthony's whereabouts when the assault occurred on the school campus. Officer Craig Sillers was also present while Anthony stated his whereabouts. The PHPD failed to pass this along to the media in their press release--though these credible facts were known to them at the time.


Prior to forwarding his official incident report to the D.A. "for prosecution of Freitas," Officer Scott Senst stated in writing he did not have time to admonish the witnesses before he handed them the single photo sheet.
Admonishments are a crucial part of the suspect ID process as it informs witnesses that a suspect may or may not be included in the photos being shown--photos which typically wouldn't be one-inch in size and include first and last names. Officers are trained to admonish witnesses in an effort to protect innocent persons from being arrested and jailed. Five months after documenting he "did not have time," Officer Senst, "upon reflection," decided he actually did have time to admonish the witnesses.
Had Officer Senst taken just a moment of his time to separate the victim and witnesses-as would be expected of him at this critical moment, had he followed the witness/admonishment procedure as he was trained to do, had Officer Senst or Sgt. Dan Connelly (or a school administrator if directed by the PHPD) simply placed tape over the student's names, perhaps the only "Anthony" on the sheet would not have been pointed to. Having been "identified" (regardless of the process) made the arrest and jailing legal-(thus our loss in Superior Court.)

Note: City of Pleasant Hill trial attorney, Pete Edrington, has publicly stated that Chief Peter Dunbar apologized. What Chief Dunbar said to Anthony was this one sentence in an e-mail.. "While I am sorry that you were arrested and went to jail, you can see there is information in the report identifying you as the suspect."
This is, without question, not an apology. Instead of acknowledging, then apologizing for the dereliction of duty shown by investigators within the department he leads, nor apologizing for his officers' misleading and false, documented statements-which contributed to Anthony's arrest, incarceration and aftermath, Chief Dunbar blames witnesses who were gathered together while one of them pointed to the single identifying "Anthony" photo presented by Officer Scott Senst. Chief Dunbar has not apologized for his officers' poor performance following the reprehensible special treatment his department appears to have provided the former mayor/sheriff deputy's son, which preceded this second stabbing, and ensuing miscarriage of justice.

end of 4th post... check right side of this page for next (5th) dated post..

Sep 19, 2009

3rd post, Freitas v PHPD..

This page details...

Crucial, disappearing evidence--used to justify Anthony's arrest and incarceration. PHPD Officer Doug Thompson had claimed a "presumptive positive" (for blood) test on Anthony's "work" box-cutter.

A presumptive test performed by the outside, independent Serological Research Institute.. which found a "negative for blood" result on the same box-cutter.

False, incriminating evidence reported by Det. Kelli Geis.

The PHPD's negligent decision-making. They refused to give Anthony a polygraph test--which he had agreed to--prior to transporting, then booking him into the County Jail.

Contra Costa County D.D.A. Dan Cabral's conflicting statement to the media.

Cabral's decision to not file charges against Christopher Escover following the first of two, separate vicious attacks.

Det. Matt Kristic's connection to Escover's prior stabbing with no charges filed.

Unsupported documented statements recorded by the PHPD on the "Probable Cause" affidavit.

The PHPD's addition of evidence not reported by any witnesses.


Having PHPD officers on the stand.. they would be compelled to answer questions specifically related to their decision-making; countless, crucial answers we'd tried to obtain over a 2 year-plus period. What gives them the right to not have to explain their actions, and show proof of the evidence they claimed to have against Anthony?
Here are just a few of the relative examples..

After Anthony had stepped out of his vehicle in front of our home, Captain John Moore asked him if he had a knife (the reported weapon). Anthony responded "no" but then immediately told Captain Moore he did have a box-cutter (from his employer) in his vehicle.
Anthony's vehicle was towed from our home to the Pleasant Hill Police Department where they took full possession of the vehicle and everything in it. At that time, PHPD Crime Scene Technician-Officer Doug Thompson performed a presumptive test (checking for blood) on Anthony's box-cutter. A Hemastix-brand test strip shows a presumptive positive-for-blood test result in a photograph taken at, and by the PHPD. Although we had insisted on being given lab test results, Anthony received a photo only 11 months after his arrest, and only after he'd filed suit did the PHPD turn it over--because by law--they had to. The PHPD did not, however, turn over the specific test strip shown in the photo to Anthony, or his attorney. It is our understanding ALL evidence must be preserved for future examination. It should also be noted this significant piece of evidence claimed by the PHPD then used to justify jailing Anthony was not sent with the box-cutter to the outside, independent forensic lab-The Serological Research Institute.
What became of the test strip shown in a PHPD photo? Was this test strip preserved-as it should be-for future examination following the Pleasant Hill Police Department's reported presumptive positive test result?-which they documented in the *Probable-Cause-To-Arrest affidavit. (*See additional discrepancies related to affidavit.) It appeared to have been a key piece of evidence used against Anthony, yet he nor his attorney were given the opportunity to examine it, ever.
PHPD crime scene technician Officer Doug Thompson has since retired. Unsuccessful attempts were made to locate, then subpoena him for a trial appearance.

Immediately following Anthony's arrest and the PHPD's "traces of blood" on the box-cutter statement to the news media, Anthony/we insisted--more than once--the PHPD give us evidence/lab test results proving any amount of blood on the box-cutter at any time. Anthony emphatically believed there was never "traces of blood" or blood of any amount, human or animal, on his work box cutter.
Once again, only after filing suit did he finally receive--from the PHPD-- the SRI forensic lab's report-through the "discovery" process. All evidence related to Anthony and his box-cutter tested NEGATIVE FOR BLOOD in "presumptive" tests done by this outside, independent lab. (As previously stated ..The PHPD reported their "presumptive" test result--which contributed to Anthony's $30,000.00 incarceration--was positive, yet the test strip itself (the proof) apparently disappeared. Was it thrown away? Misplaced by the Pleasant Hill Police Department/Officer Doug Thompson?).

PHPD Detective Kelli Geis..recorded in her police report that while speaking with Crime Scene Technician Officer Doug Thompson, she learned that he recovered a "hooded" black sweatshirt from Anthony's vehicle. This is more false evidence documented by the PHPD, then reported to our County's District Attorney following Anthony's arrest.
Officer Scott Senst had been told by the victim and witnesses while at the crime scene that the suspect was wearing a hooded and pocketed black sweatshirt. The only sweatshirt in Anthony's vehicle, a "work" sweatshirt, did not, does not, and never did have a hood, (or pockets). PHPD investigator(s) took physical possession of Anthony's sweatshirt.
It should be fairly simple for a trained law enforcement investigator to differentiate between a sweatshirt having a hood and pockets, and one that has neither. If they can't differentiate between the two, and as a result document false evidence-- jeopardizing a model citizen's freedom from confinement, then what? The PHPD's false determination--then official recording of a "hooded" sweatshirt being located in Anthony's vehicle, contributed to his incarceration, and aftermath.


Anthony's interrogation took place at the Pleasant Hill Police Department after his arrest in front of our home. (Investigators had the common sense option to detain him for questioning instead). He was questioned by Officer Senst and Det. Geis. At the time, Anthony was in a state of disbelief having been handcuffed, witnessing a number of officers arriving at our home, and within a short period of time arrested for Assault With a Deadly Weapon, a felony offense. He was then transported to the PHPD for booking. When asked during his interrogation if he'd take a lie-detector/polygraph test Anthony expressed concern regarding the accuracy of the test. He told Det. Geis and Officer Senst he'd learned (in his Civil Law class) the polygraph test detects changes in the heart rate. Anthony stated he was very nervous at that moment, and said his heart rate was very high. However, when further discussing taking a polygraph test Anthony agreed to do so, clearly responding to Det. Geis and Officer Senst..."Sure, if it'll help." He also assured Det. Geis and Officer Senst he wouldn't be changing his statement(s) before or during the test. The PHPD decidedly rejected Anthony's opportunity to be given a polygraph. Instead, he was transported, then booked into the Contra Costa County Jail--$30,000.00 bail.

When filling out her official incident report which was forwarded to the District Attorney's office Det. Kelli Geis says Anthony seemed nervous about (the possibility of) taking a lie detector test. She failed to inform the D.A. of Anthony's clearly expressed response of..."Sure, if it'll help." Wouldn't Det. Geis's omitting of Anthony's agreement to take a polygraph test give the D.A. a false impression he wasn't being cooperative, or had something to hide? It is likely the D.A. was not aware the PHPD refused to give Anthony a polygraph test. *Anthony was ordered to show up in court on March 5th--for possible arraignment.

Note Contra Costa County Deputy District Attorney Dan Cabral's statement to the news media based on evidence presented to him by the Pleasant Hilll Police Department... "It isn't that often we see evidence against one person that's of a substantial nature but it turns out someone else actually committed the crime."
(That "someone else" is the young man who D.D.A. Dan Cabral and PHPD Detective Matt Kristic decided not to press charges against following his (Escover's) 2006 attempted car-jacking/stabbing arrest--approximately 5 months earlier).
Based on the quoted statement by D.D.A. Cabral, the PHPD had forwarded their Jan./2007 police reports to the District Attorney's office, claiming a whole host of evidence against Anthony, however, when our findings questioned their "substantial" evidence, let alone their evidence at all, it appeared the PHPD had no choice but to focus their attention, instead, on the young woman who thought the suspect "looked like" Anthony-on-the-baseball team, and who pointed to the only "Anthony" photo presented to her by Officer Scott Senst. With Anthony (Freitas) "identified" the PHPD legally established probable cause--then placed him under arrest. The supposed "substantial" (unsupported and/or fabricated) evidence claimed by the PHPD didn't matter, proven or not.


The "On-View and Probable Cause" Declaration is an affidavit signed under penalty of perjury by the arresting law enforcement officer/agency who claims to have established "probable cause." It spells out the facts and circumstances within the officer's knowledge at the moment of arrest. The documented information must legally justify making the arrest. This declaration, stating what the PHPD investigators knew at the moment of (Anthony's) arrest was filled out by three different law enforcement personnel, yet signed by only one of them--a volunteer, reserve PHPD officer.
This Probable Cause declaration states...**"two independent witnesses identified arrestee as well as the victim." (Again, the victim and both witnesses were within 2 to 3 feet of each other when the identity of "Anthony-on-the-baseball-team" was being discussed, and the photo sheet (with names) viewed. One of the two, "independent?" witnesses had pointed to the photo of a male who was not Anthony yet there is no evidence Officers Senst, Connelly or any other PHPD investigator questioned that initial, identified suspect. Keep in mind Officer Scott Senst's documented version.. that "both (women) immediately and emphatically identified Anthony Freitas..."-which was a false claim. Knowingly documenting false evidence is a criminal act, and should be met with severe consequences.
**The quoted statement above was recorded on the Probable Cause affidavit, and is a clear example of misleading and tainted evidence which had a significant impact, resulting in Anthony's arrest and incarceration for which the PHPD has admitted no wrongdoing, and is not being held accountable.

Another questionable "fact" on this Probable Cause declaration as stated by Det. Kelli Geis...."A box-cutter was located in his (Anthony's) vehicle and a presumptive test was positive for blood." (The blood test on the box-cutter was done after Anthony's arrest--so the results (highly questionable, with the proof discarded?) would not have been known to PHPD officers "at the moment of arrest." However, it was documented on a follow-up affidavit in a later attempt to justify the arrest.
Det. Kelli Geis's signature was not on this sworn document.

Under "Description of Weapon" on this Probable Cause Declaration.. The weapon had been reported to authorities as "a knife"-and a knife is what Christopher Escover used during the assault. However, the words "sharp object" were added along with the word "knife" -reportedly written by Det. Geis. There is no documentation or audio recording that we are aware of stating anything other than a "knife" being reported as the weapon-by anyone-at any time.
Why would a law enforcement detective be allowed to include additional evidence which was never reported by the victim and/or witnesses, and never documented by an investigator in any police report related to this case? It is our belief "sharp object" was added to the probable cause declaration by Det. Kelli Geis-to include Anthony's box-cutter as the possible weapon. This style of "law enforcement" is inexcusable , and should be considered unlawful.
No explanation has been given by PHPD Chief Peter Dunbar as to this addition of unreported evidence by Det. Geis who we believe played a major role in Anthony being incarcerated.

PHPD Chief Dunbar was subpoenaed by Anthony, though he did not take the stand during the trial.

Det. Kelli Geis and Officer Scott Senst stated that the wound on the victim was consistent with having been made by a box-cutter. We believe they made this incriminating statement also while attempting to justify their arrest of Anthony. We have asked Chief Dunbar-in writing-How much experience do Officer Senst and Det. Geis have in investigating or examining box-cutter wounds?
To date no response has been given.


end of 3rd page. check right side of this page for the 4th post listed (dated)

Sep 10, 2009

2nd post, Freitas v PHPD

This page discusses these specific topics..

The PHPD's grossly suggestive suspect ID process performed by Officer Scott Senst, as well as what appears to be fabricated evidence which nevertheless contributed to "Probable Cause," (thus a legal arrest).

Photo line-up? One-inch-sized photos with first and last names included under each.

Internal investigation: The PHPD declined to release its findings.

Refusing to acknowledge their countless mistakes, lack of effort and rush to judgment.. To get themselves off the hook the PHPD placed blame of Anthony's arrest and incarceration on an unassuming witness.

Jury Deliberations

The PHPD's misleading and unsupported statements to the CCC D.A.'s office, and to the media.

Sgt. Dan Connelly's questionable account--while present at the suspect ID process.

Captain John Moore...who was the "acting Chief" on this particular day..

Neglecting to interrogate Anthony prior to his arrest within minutes of arriving home from working on a class project--having had four, credible adult alibi witnesses in his presence.

The true offender--Christopher Escover's outstanding, no bail warrant in existence while he lived at home in Pleasant Hill with the former P-Hill Mayor/ret. CCC sheriff's deputy.

Escover's arrest/release for a previous stabbing/attempted car-jacking etc., etc. less than 5 months earlier.

Special treatment?

PHPD officers and the former mayor/ret. deputy who were subpoenaed, yet did not take the stand during the trial.. Freitas v PHPD.

THREE DAYS PRIOR to his son turning himself in for both stabbings---phone contact was made between the former mayor/deputy's home and the PHPD.

Anthony's immediate alibi as told to Captain John Moore, also stated in the presence of Officer Craig Sillers.

The PHPD's blatant refusal to meet with Anthony's alibi witnesses.

Detective Kelli Geis's phone admonishment to a credible parent witness--that she can get in trouble for lying (while giving her alibi-verifying phone statement on Anthony's behalf prior to
him being transported, then booked into the county jail).

Officer Scott Senst's incomprehensible statement to a credible alibi witness.

Sgt Lisa Hugdahl's statement that alibi witnesses can lie in person too.

$30,000.000 bail

$10,000.00 criminal defense attorney retainer.

Broadcast of Anthony's arrest... KTVU Channel 2 news amongst various other news media/radio


During the early afternoon of Jan. 4th, 2007 a young woman-witness made a 911 phone call in which she talks about "the kid" she saw running from the crime scene (a stabbing) at College Park High School. She said "the kid" 4 or 5 times while talking to the dispatcher. Later in the call she says.. "..I think I recognize him" but does not name anyone, showing-through her own communication-she was not certain the suspect was someone she knew, or knew well.

During the suspect ID process, the young woman told PHPD Officer Scott Senst the person fleeing the scene "looked like Anthony-on-the-baseball-team." (We've never argued Christopher Escover and Anthony look similar). This gal did not purposely pinpoint Anthony as a possible suspect. She simply stated the person running through the parking lot (whose face she saw "for probably 2 seconds at the very most") looked like him. She did not know Anthony well enough to know his last name. Officer Senst was aware of this significant fact. He is heard in a recorded police-radio call, saying.. "..suspect possibly name of Anthony." (This witness stated in her deposition she was never 100% positive in the identification of Anthony. She also felt pressured by Officer Senst who "was not happy" while she vaguely described what the fleeing suspect was wearing.)

Officer Senst asked a College Park High administrator to figure out who "Anthony-on-the-baseball-team" was. The administrator brought out to the scene a single sheet of one-inch-sized photos--first and last names included under each. Officer Senst did not ask the school administrator to cover the names before he took possession of the photo sheet. Immediately following Officer Senst having handed the page of photos to the witnesses (who stood together, and within 2 to 3 feet of the victim) the older woman-witness pointed to a male student she believed resembled the suspect. The person in that photo was not Anthony. Nothing was discussed, or reported by Officer Scott Senst as to this particular witness having chosen a male student suspect other than Anthony. There is no record of the PHPD questioning that student/possible suspect or looking into his activities prior to or following the stabbing.
While viewing the photos together, the younger woman-witness--who has indicated she was looking for his name--found the only "Anthony" photo presented to her (first and last names included) then stated to the other witness "no, no, this is him" while pointing to the Anthony Freitas photo.
***Officer Scott Senst's police report-documented version of what took place reads like this... "Both (women) immediately and emphatically identified Anthony Freitas as the subject who had run across the street in front of them."
This grossly conflicting-yet officially recorded-statement is a false claim which contributed to Anthony's arrest and incarceration. Officer Senst's report with his apparently fabricated statement was forwarded to the Contra Costa County District Attorney's office.."for prosecution of Freitas." In our opinion this in itself is an act worthy of criminal prosecution. It appears Officer Senst's false reporting has been disregarded, when in fact all previous reporting by him--on any case--should be carefully scrutinized. If not, why not?

What are the consequences of a PHPD officer documenting a critical, false statement/false evidence, jeopardizing one's civil liberty? How many law-abiding civilians must be affected before action is taken? There should be zero tolerance for any law enforcement officer documenting evidence that never existed, especially when it results in an innocent person being arrested and jailed ($30,000 bail, $10,000 criminal defense attorney-retainer).
Note: Anthony and his attorney's requests for a copy of the PHPD's internal investigation related to this case have been denied all along. No access whatsoever has been given to the internal investigation's findings, or action taken--if any.
Although we have requested an explanation in writing, PHPD Chief Dunbar has not responded with clarification as to Officer Scott Senst's crucial, false reporting of evidence which contributed to Anthony's arrest and incarceration.


Following the younger woman having pointed to the single "Anthony" photo while at the crime scene, Officer Scott Senst did not ask her how sure she was about the identity of Anthony Freitas (as the possible suspect) which investigators are instructed to ask--assuming they've been properly trained. This critical step in the suspect identification process would provide assurance in safeguarding one's civil liberty, and should be highly regarded. Although she thought the person running from the crime scene looked like Anthony-on-the-baseball-team she had not been to a single game while he was on the team (3 years). Her mother had told her Anthony played for College Park High. She saw Anthony once or twice at a local, private pool club--2 to 3 years before this incident occurred. They had never had a class together, or a conversation, anywhere. She left College Park High in 2005. This witness was not aware of Anthony's last name until Officer Scott Senst handed her the single page of photos presenting ONE "Anthony"-the one on the baseball team.
PHPD Sgt. Dan Connelly stated in a police radio call that the suspect had been "ID'd by a photograph as being Anthony 'Freitas.'"
Following the witness having chosen the Anthony photo presented to her, Officer Scott Senst and the PHPD legally established "probable cause" to arrest and jail him. (Having established probable cause was all the PHPD/City of Pleasant Hill needed to prevail in the trial). This is a complete miscarriage of justice. Who's being held accountable for the grossly tainted and completely suggestive photo/suspect ID process they (specific officers) created?

Probable Cause must exist before an arrest is made. Probable Cause exists "when the totality of the facts and circumstances within a police officer's knowledge at the moment of arrest are sufficient for a reasonable person to conclude that the suspect had committed or was committing an offense."

When police officers make an arrest--in haste, under highly questionable circumstances, the result of a blatantly corrupt suspect ID process, it is obviously unlikely they've taken the time to gain sufficient knowledge, or facts, prior to their moment of arrest.

(Read further in this blog regarding the trial--Anthony Freitas v The City of Pleasant Hill/PHPD, June/July 2009)...
As instructed by the judge to be the jury's first decision during deliberations...Did the PHPD establish "probable cause" prior to arresting Anthony Freitas?
What choice did the jury have when making this decision? (Regardless of officers' dereliction of duty, and having rejected his alibi)...As a result of a single witness choosing the one and only "Anthony" photo presented to her the PHPD gained the legal right (probable cause) to arrest and jail him. Following this one and only determination the jury was not allowed to deliberate further--and the trial came to an end.


As you will learn in this writing... Initially, the PHPD made unsupported and misleading claims of evidence, along with wrongful assumptions-prior to jailing Anthony at the County Detention Facility. When we insisted on answers to these claims and assumptions the justification wasn't there, or parts of the story changed (after the arrest and jailing). Instead of accepting responsibility for, and answering to their grossly substandard investigative actions and false documented statements of evidence, it later appeared the PHPD's lawsuit defense strategy was to focus on one measure; convince the jury that they had established "probable cause" (by placing blame of Anthony's arrest and incarceration on one person, the unassuming young woman who pointed to the identifying photo after Officer Senst handed it to the witness(es)). As you've learned, this outright suggestive process led to unreliable (at best) results in identifying a possible offender. The opportunity simply existed for the PHPD to do more, sound, investigative work--as they were trained to do-- prior to arresting then jailing our son.


Sgt. Dan Connelly had been present during the suspect ID process. He, too, it appears, did not observe (while the witnesses stood together and within 2 to 3 feet of the victim) the older woman having identified a different male suspect on the photo sheet. There was doubt the suspect was Anthony which went unnoticed or disregarded at a very critical moment of this investigation.
Sgt. Connelly had not suggested separating witnesses--to get individual accounts from each, then consider and investigate the independent findings. (His training comes into question.) The PHPD reported to the news media, and to the Contra Costa County District Attorney-(for prosecution of Freitas) that the "victim and witnesses" identified Anthony Freitas as the suspect. The reprehensibly inadequate investigative manner, which stripped a model citizen of his civil liberty, and misled the media in an attempt to justify this cursory arrest, is beyond explanation.

During his deposition Sgt. Dan Connelly said he'd been looking over the witness's shoulder while she was looking at a "book" of photographs similar to a yearbook. He described it as "probably the size of one of these phonebooks."
What the witnesses were looking at, together, was the single sheet of photographs identifying each student. There was no book shown to the witnesses at the crime scene. At a point in time after his deposition Sgt. Connelly changed his statement.


As he arrived home--to waiting Pleasant Hill police officers the afternoon of January 4th, 2007--our son had no idea what was about to unfold. As Anthony slowly drove up our street, then having parked in our driveway, he was immediately detained in handcuffs by PHPD Captain John Moore. Having not been on the school campus when the stabbing occurred, Anthony truthfully explained his whereabouts to Captain Moore. He had been in a classmate's home working on an Economics Class project. Four adults-a sworn peace officer, his equally credible wife, and two adult classmates-were present at the home as well. It appears there was no suggestion by Captain Moore-who was the acting PHPD Chief of Police that day-to interrogate Anthony, or suggest to the very investigators he was overseeing that they attempt to contact any of Anthony's four, credible, adult alibi witnesses prior to...

...(within just minutes of being detained in front of our home), Sgt. Dan Connelly arrived from the tainted suspect ID process, indicating to Captain John Moore there was sufficient probable cause to arrest Anthony Freitas for aggravated assault, a felony offense.
No interrogation? Investigate his stated, concrete alibi? Why the rush to arrest? Anthony wasn't a threat to anyone, and was fully cooperative while detained in handcuffs. Captain John Moore had plenty of backup, as at least seven PHPD officers converged in front of our home. (All of this taking place while the true offender, Christopher Escover, son of the former mayor/ret. county sheriff's deputy remained free (no charges filed following his previous (2006) arrest for the attempted car-jacking, attempted robbery, false imprisonment, assault with a deadly weapon (knife) doing great bodily injury, having had blood on his clothing as well)). Also, while rushing to get Anthony off the streets, an outstanding, no bail warrant (parole violation) had been in existence for Christopher Escover's arrest while he lived at home with the former mayor-in Pleasant Hill. The PHPD had been aware of this outstanding warrant.
We've asked PHPD Chief Peter Dunbar...how many attempts were made to serve the outstanding, no bail warrant on this known, dangerous young man? This question remains unanswered. Was the PHPD truly concerned about the safety of those who live in, or visit the Pleasant Hill area? Was the D.A. not concerned about the personal safety of those in Contra Costa County? Was special treatment afforded the son of the former mayor/deputy? Why no explanation, still?
Judge Baskin would not allow any questions or evidence whatsoever in the jury's presence referring to Anthony's/our detailing two different styles of law enforcement carried out by the PHPD, and the resulting lawlessness following the special treatment they appear to have provided under these very dangerous circumstances. If charges had been filed following the 2006 arrest/attempted car-jacking attack and/or the Pleasant Hill Police Department had served the outstanding warrant they had possessed, Escover would not have had the opportunity to strike again. Another young man would not have been stabbed. Our son's arrest, incarceration and ensuing costly damages would not have occurred.
The PHPD and D.A. apparently share no legal responsibility for the subsequent violent act, and it's aftermath.

It is our understanding Judge Baskin believed some witness testimony would be duplicative of others, or would not pertain to probable cause related to Anthony's arrest. With a number of witnesses not yet called to the stand, Anthony had to rest his case-prematurely. Anthony's alibi witness--the mother whose home he was in when the stabbing occurred on the school campus could not take the stand though she was scheduled and waiting in the hallway outside the courtroom door. Subpoenaed witnesses not taking the stand included, amongst others, Police Chief Peter Dunbar, Captain John Moore, Lt. Peter Enea, Det./Sgt. Lisa Hugdahl, the victim, Det. Matt Kristic, the former Pleasant Hill Mayor/retired deputy sheriff-Chuck Escover and his wife-who could have been questioned, amongst other things, as to the content of the phone contact made between them and the Pleasant Hill Police Department 3 days before their son was arrested for this violent 2007 offense.
As Anthony's parents, we would have appreciated 3 days to discuss our son's predicament--prior to the PHPD arresting then jailing him.


Prior to Anthony's arrest, a College Park High Administrator made statements to PHPD Officer Scott Senst--at the crime scene--telling him school office staff felt it would be "shocking" if he was involved in the stabbing because "Anthony's always a good kid." This credible school official had also stated.. "It's amazing (to think) that it could be him."

Anthony has never had a ticket (moving violation), and had had no previous contact by the Pleasant Hill Police Department, or any other law enforcement agency, anywhere.
Adults who have known Anthony for years telephoned the PHPD, expressing strong beliefs that they must have the wrong young man in custody. Their statements were disregarded as well.


After learning that our son had been arrested for a stabbing within minutes of working on the Economics Class project, the parent-sworn peace officer-alibi witness telephoned the PHPD. While speaking to Det. Kelli Geis, having informed her of his employment at our county's juvenile hall, he offered to go to the PHPD--(along with his wife)--to speak with investigators in person. In response to this vital offer, Det. Kelli Geis told the significant alibi witness it was not necessary for him and his wife to come to the PHPD to meet with investigators in person-thus rejecting these crucial alibi witnesses. This reckless investigating by Det. Kelli Geis showed a careless disregard for Anthony's civil liberty, yet it was not an unlawful or unconstitutional act by this public servant whose neglectful decision-making affects civil liberties.

(Immediately following the peace officer-alibi witness's phone conversation with Det. Kelli Geis)...While his wife was adamantly stating the time of day Anthony had been in her home, in her presence at the kitchen table, on her laptop computer-while he worked on the class project, this mother-alibi was admonished by Det. Kelli Geis-who asked the witness if she knew she could get in trouble for lying.
As stated, this parent-alibi witness was not allowed to take the stand-per Judge Baskin.

Prior to transporting our son to the county jail the Pleasant Hill Police Department rejected corroborating alibi statements given by two credible parents. Additionally, and incomprehensibly, their son (another alibi witness) was left a cell phone message by Officer Scott Senst who told this young man...."There's no point in interviewing you...since we've already spoken to your parents."
This unconscionable denial by Officer Scott Senst as well showed a blatant disregard for Anthony's civil liberty. Officer Senst and Det. Kelli Geis had no basis whatsoever to assume Anthony, and his adult alibi witnesses were being dishonest.

Immediately following our son's arrest we arrived at the Pleasant Hill Police Department's front desk/lobby. Due to Anthony having just turned 18 years of age (an adult) we were not allowed any contact with him. While desperately inquiring as to our son's state PHPD Det./Sgt. Lisa Hugdahl told us Anthony would need a complete change of clothes, and shoes. He was ordered by Det. Kelli Geis and Officer Scott Senst to remove everything he was wearing-for evidentiary purposes. In response to further questioning our son's status, Det./Sgt. Hugdahl informed us.. Anthony would either be released to go home, or he'd be going to the county jail. We then asked Det./Sgt. Lisa Hugdahl if the alibi witnesses should come to the PHPD to speak with investigators in person. Det/Sgt. Hugdahl's response to Anthony's father was that the alibi witnesses can lie in person, too.
Det./Sgt. Lisa Hugdahl was subpoenaed by Anthony, though she did not take the stand during the trial.

NO ONE from the Pleasant Hill Police Department made an attempt to meet with the alibi witnesses who had not only offered to meet, they were immediately available--five minutes away from the PHPD.

Shortly after Det. Geis, Officer Senst and Det./Sgt. Hugdahl refused the opportunity to meet with the alibi witnesses, Anthony was transported, then booked into the Contra Costa County jail--$30,000.00 bail. (criminal defense attorneys-retainer of $10,000.00, with many more expenses to follow..up to our total out-of-pocket costs of approximately Thirty Five Thousand Dollars--while seeking evidence and answers from the Pleasant Hill Police Department. Anthony's pre-trial/trial attorney took the case on a contingent basis as he believed in our effort to seek a reasonable explanation, compensation and justice.

Anthony was "scared to death" incarcerated with a number of men/arrestees--including some wearing San Quentin jumpsuits. He was now an "inmate" as shown on our caller ID when he phoned, asking if we knew when he could come home.

News of the arrest and Anthony's identity were broadcast throughout Northern California and beyond following a hasty press release by the PHPD. They included.. KTVU Channel 2 news (how Anthony's elderly grandparents learned of his arrest), KGO San Francisco radio, the Contra Costa Times newspaper, various internet news websites, and the College Park High newspaper-while attending his Senior year. Anthony's arrest was also "featured" on a nationwide high school Journalism website.
In contrast, Anthony (still a "lead" at the time) and the news media were not notified of Christopher Escover's arrest for this particular assault until 3 days after his arrest occurred.

**Six days after Anthony's arrest and jailing--PHPD investigators met with his alibi witnesses. At this time they found these adults to be credible. No apology or compensation ($11,000.00+ in damages) was offered to Anthony/us by the Pleasant Hill Police Department.


(June/2007)...While still seeking an explanation from the Pleasant Hill Police Department as to their suspect ID process, the victim reportedly having identified Anthony as the suspect though he (the victim) had had at least one conflict with Escover in the past (as stated by adults with first-hand knowledge), no apology from the PHPD for their grave mistakes, errors in judgment, and refusal to turn over evidence they'd used against Anthony, etc., etc., we quickly learned that our efforts, alone, would not produce convincing answers, and solid facts from the Pleasant Hill Police Department.
With the assistance of a private investigator, crime scene witness statements, sworn alibi witness declarations, etc., it was clear, statements made, and documented by the PHPD-while attempting to justify Anthony's arrest-greatly conflicted with our findings.
Without a reasonable explanation, nor proven/stated evidence, and our monetary damages exceeding $11,000 we/Anthony filed a claim against the PHPD/City of Pleasant Hill. Our claim was, not surprisingly, rejected. Melene Maxfield of the Municipal Pooling Authority-the City of Pleasant Hill's insurance administer-stated... "The investigation into this matter shows the police followed proper investigation procedures during the course of this incident. As a result the City must reject your claim. The City will defend itself in court should it prove to be necessary."

Seeking answers from our tax-payer-supported "public servants" is a costly feat. However, walking away was not an option. Without progress being made in our search for the truth, we/Anthony decided to seek answers, evidence and compensation through the court--believing this was our final opportunity to seek justice, and an apology. The PHPD continued to deny it was their unfounded rush to judgment, inconceivable lack of effort, improper handling of investigations, (in addition to a non-follow-through on Escover's 2006 blood evidence?) etc. that contributed to Anthony's arrest and ensuing, costly aftermath. Furthermore, the Pleasant Hill Police Department, Mayor David Durant, City Manager June Catalano, nor the City Council had responded to the numerous inquiries within our 13-page formal complaint filed-Sept. 1st, 2007-eight months after Anthony's arrest.
It is our understanding one member of that particular City Council is a close friend and neighbor of the Escover family.

(December/2007)..No offer of compensation had been made, though our monetary costs directly related to Anthony's arrest were now approx. $14,000.00. Following these paid expenses, and eleven months of questioning investigative procedures, ignored requests for evidence, conflicting and false statements in police reports, etc., Anthony/we filed suit in Contra Costa County Superior Court. We believed (at the time), through the legal process the PHPD would be compelled-in front of a jury-to explain Christopher Escover's 2006 attempted carjacking/stabbing arrest then release from incarceration with no charges filed, their rush to incarcerate Anthony-disregarding his substantiated alibi, amongst numerous other stated inconsistencies. Anthony and us-his parents, felt we unquestionably deserved nothing less than a clear explanation as to his arrest and jailing.

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see right side of page for 3rd listed (dated) post..

Sep 3, 2009

1st post, Superior Court Trial of Freitas v Pleasant Hill Police Department, June-July 2009

"There's no point in interviewing you since we've already spoken to your parents." (The words of PHPD Officer Scott Senst to a credible, adult alibi witness prior to our son, Anthony Freitas, being transported, then booked into the County Jail--$30,000.00 bail-- for a crime (stabbing) committed by the son of a former Mayor of Pleasant Hill/retired Contra Costa County sheriff's deputy.)


Hello Family, Friends, and All,

We wish to share with you the Pleasant Hill Police Department's investigative process, then arrest of our son-Anthony Freitas-for a stabbing assault that occurred at College Park High School on January 4th, 2007. It is our belief the arrest and jailing of Anthony would not have occurred had the Pleasant Hill Police Department followed proper practices and procedures, exercised equal and timely enforcement of the law, and not provided what appears to be special treatment-leaving the true assailant, a known, dangerous offender (the son of a former mayor/ret. sheriff's deputy)-the opportunity to strike again.

Included here is what we've learned regarding the Jan./2007 assault as well as a previous stabbing committed by the same young man-Christopher Escover-five months earlier (August/2006). That particular attack included an attempted robbery/attempted car-jacking, false imprisonment, assault with a deadly weapon-doing great bodily injury-having stabbed that victim twice. Escover had what was reported to be blood stains on his clothing. He had been positively identified by the victim-who was hospitalized, and was arrested for the attack by the PHPD. However, Christopher was released from the Contra Costa County Juvenile Hall with no charges filed. The Pleasant Hill Police Department and the Contra Costa County D.A. (as well as the CCC Sheriff's Dept.?-his father's employer) must have been aware of Christopher Escover's past which makes it more astonishing that he was set free following this particular, violent act. Nothing in the police report we've obtained shows the Pleasant Hill Police Department having done an immediate in-house evidence test on what they believed was blood on Escover's clothing. (*This is in contrast to their immediate test for blood on Anthony's clothing and belongings for which the PHPD CLAIMED--through a photo--a presumptive-positive-for-blood test result.
NOTE: The Hemastix Brand test strip itself--shown in photo evidence--disappeared with no explanation by the PHPD, though they document its presumptive-positive test result in the sworn affidavit while attempting to justify the arrest and incarceration of Anthony. You will learn that an outside, independent lab's finding was "negative for blood" in a presumptive test they performed on the same evidence.
*Details of additional discrepancies on the PHPD's "Probable Cause" affidavit discussed further in this blog.)

Just months after Christopher Escover's release-with no charges filed-he stabbed again (January/2007), an attack for which our son-with an immediate, solid, stated alibi-was arrested. Following his alibi being verified by credible adults (including a sworn peace officer), yet rejected by PHPD investigators, Anthony was incarcerated. ($30,000 bail, $10,000 criminal defense attorneys--retainer, and that was only the beginning...)

Having countless questions in a formal complaint unanswered, we continued to question PHPD practices and procedures which led to Anthony's arrest, incarceration, and our tens of thousands of dollars in related costs. While meeting with City Manager June Catalano, council member John Hanecak, City attorneys Pete Edrington and Debra Margolis, Ms. Margolis made it very clear the City of Pleasant Hill would not offer compensation to Anthony as the PHPD felt they'd done nothing wrong. The truth is they didn't do much right.

In this writing we discuss the aftermath of Anthony's arrest, his/our claim filed against the PHPD/City of Pleasant Hill, and eventual lawsuit, a result of the various, disturbing reasons we state here. We explain areas of Anthony's case which were not allowed to be introduced to the jury following Judge Baskin's decisions made prior to, and during the trial.
Also, named here are a number of witnesses-including police officers directly involved in both of the Escover assault investigations-who were subpoenaed yet did not take the stand during the trial.

Note: Although we use "PHPD" in this writing we do not blame the entire Pleasant Hill Police Department for the actions/non-actions of a few. The same is true of our mention of the County D.A.'s office. Unidentified officers within the PHPD, and persons employed by the County D.A. and probation departments may have played a role in the investigation and/or decision-making related to one, or both attacks carried out by the son of the former Pleasant Hill mayor/ret. sheriff's deputy. According to the PHPD's incident report, following a discussion between Deputy District Attorney Dan Cabral and PHPD Officer Matt Kristic, it appears to have been a joint decision to release Escover-with no charges filed following his arrest for the vicious, attempted car-jacking incident in Aug./2006.
Would our sons/daughters have been given the same freedom?

end of 1st post.. (six posts total)
check right side of this page for 2nd listed (dated) post..
questions or comments... e-mail FreitasFmly4@gmail.com