James Crawford Beating Photo

Attorney James Crawford was injured in a fight with an Orange County district attorney’s investigator at a Santa Ana courthouse. (Courtesy of Jerry Steering)

Christopher Goffard
March 15, 2016

Attorneys for a man accused in a Lake Forest assault have asked that the Orange County district attorney’s office be thrown off the case, citing “a pattern of intimidation” against defense witnesses — most recently when one of the district attorney’s investigators bloodied an attorney in a courthouse hallway.

Adrian Arellano Arroyo, 29, is accused of participating in a parking lot brawl outside the Kollas Nightclub in August 2014 that left several people injured.

Last Wednesday, a key witness against him, Berenice Gonzalez, was on the 10th floor of the Santa Ana courthouse accompanied by a district attorney’s investigator assigned to handle her.

The investigator, identified in court documents as Dillon Alley, exchanged heated words with attorney James Crawford, who was there to advise the witness about her 5th Amendment rights against self-incrimination.

According to Crawford’s lawyer, Alley tossed a paper clip at him, which Crawford tossed back. Then Alley slammed Crawford’s head into a bench and punched him repeatedly.

In a motion filed Tuesday, Arroyo’s attorneys at the Orange County alternate defender’s office said that Alley “beat the attorney to a pulp” in front of Gonzalez and other witnesses.
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“Dillon continued to punch James with what appeared to be [a] tremendous amount of rage,” the motion said, while Crawford held his arms up to shield himself and did not fight back. “According to witnesses, Dillon showed no indication he was going to stop the beating.”

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