David Grajeda to represent himself, stay-away order stands

LANCASTER – David Grajeda will be representing himself going forward in the case against him for interfering with or disturbing a public meeting.

“I don’t need a mediator to represent why I was saying the things I said in City Council, Criminal Justice or Architectural Design Commission meetings,” Grajeda said. “I feel like people need to stand up for themselves and speak, at City Council or in the courtroom.”

Grajeda made known his decision to represent himself during his court hearing Tuesday before Judge Akemi Arakaki to challenge a restraining order prohibiting him from being within 100 yards of Lancaster City Hall, and further prohibiting him from making any type of contact with City Hall staff.

David Grajeda

The restraining order, issued by Judge Arakaki on Nov. 16, was an expanded version of a previous restraining order, which barred Grajeda from being within 100 yards of Lancaster City Hall.

The original restraining order was issued by Judge Carol Koppel after Grajeda’s arrest on Oct. 25.

Grajeda, a frequent speaker and critic at Lancaster City Council meetings, was arrested on Oct. 25 as he attempted to enter a City Council meeting. He was charged with interfering with a public meeting based on his actions at an Oct. 12 Criminal Justice Commission meeting. View video of those actions here.

Grajeda’s bail was initially set at $5,000 for the misdemeanor charge of interfering with a public meeting, but was later raised to $25,000 by Judge Koppel. Grajeda was jailed for 16 days before bailing out on Nov. 9.

On Nov. 16, Grajeda’s case was continued to Jan. 12 for pretrial. At the Nov. 16 hearing Judge Arakaki also renewed the restraining order by Judge Koppel, but with new restrictions prohibiting Grajeda from making any contact with City Hall staff. (Read that story here.)

Grajeda appeared before Judge Arakaki again Tuesday to challenge the most recent restraining order. But first, his attorney, Amy Konstantelos, announced that she was removing herself from the case. She said the decision was not based on any disagreements between the two, but a personal choice by Grajeda. Konstantelos said she would continue to monitor the case and make herself available, should she be needed in the future.

When asked, Grajeda told the judge he had up to an eighth grade level education, but was certain that he wanted to represent himself.

Deputy district attorney, Adan Montalban, expressed concerns that Grajeda could be disruptive to court proceedings similar to how he was disruptive at City meetings.

Judge Arakaki said Grajeda had done nothing to indicate that he would be disruptive to the court proceedings and she saw no need to admonish him. She did advise Grajeda that, even though he was representing himself, he would still be held to the same standards as any other attorney.

Grajeda scored a small victory regarding the restraining order. Judge Arakaki agreed to remove the newest restrictions imposed Nov. 16, prohibiting Grajeda from making any contact with City Hall staff.

“I believe the order that was signed by Judge Koppel should suffice,” said Arakaki.

Arakaki instructed Montalban to prepare a new order barring Grajeda from coming within 100 yards of City Hall, but placing no restrictions on his contact with City Hall staff.

Following the hearing, an energized Grajeda said he was looking forward to exercising his reinstated right to communicate with City Hall. He said he would ask the Sheriff’s Department to contact the City and set up a way for him to be teleconferenced into future City meetings.

“I’m going to try to set up some way for me to be able to communicate with the people, not City Hall, but talking to the people,” said Grajeda. He said if this method fails, he would communicate through a third-party at City meetings using a family member or a close friend.

Grajeda also said he would see to it that many City officials were subpoenaed to testify at his trial, come January.

“First the Mayor, second the City Manager, then Jason Caudle [Deputy City manager], then all the way down the line to the last person who is on the payroll of the City,” said Grajeda. “I want them to validate the accusations that I am a dangerous person… I believe that the accusations are unfounded, other than me being a little loud at times in defense of my position.”

Grajeda said he was prepared to accept the worst case scenario, if he lost his case – up to a year in the county jail.

“I am not afraid of the outcome,” said Grajeda. “The message is more important, that people need to speak up and defend themselves… and if it starts with me, then so be it.”

  22 comments for “David Grajeda to represent himself, stay-away order stands

  1. AirForce Vet Ex-Con
    November 30, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    I thank the “God” We Trust for: Los Angeles County Jail, Patton State Hospital and California Department of Corrections. I watched very intently one of the videos that will be used to free or convict David G:
    ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0CZCTWKjY_o&feature=player_detailpage )
    Please note the calm of David’s accused and the raw rage and justified anger of Citizen David G. David, when you address the authors of a planned setup, they will call you: “Ridiculous”, “Paranoid”, “Out of His Mind”…, and then ask a third party to confirm the setup. Provocateurs are sent to make you angry and then you get arrested for protecting yourself or for being angry. David, you are playing with the big boys and they love to play with big money and power and your with your life!
    I love Lancaster and Law Enforcement has a difficult job, I pray that we all can stop injustice and allow someone like David G. to speak without the fear of being locked up?!

  2. AirForce Vet Ex-Con
    November 29, 2011 at 4:36 am

    David, You are in the cross hairs. Be very careful. You are being setup to have a mental eval and this could take up to a year waiting in the county jail. Sounds crazy? Court 95 has a large case load and the highest number of cases come from the AV. Once your attorney suggests that you need a mental eval, all proceedings stop until you get to Patton State Hospital, if you don’t die in the county jail. Going at this alone is smart, but having legal advice is also smart. Do alot of praying and never quit fighting. David, you are fighting people who have alot to lose and they are not used to losing. Please be careful…

  3. AV Town Crier
    November 28, 2011 at 11:44 am

    David–keep up the good fight. Your constitutional rights have been violated by the bullies of Lancaster.

  4. roughrider
    November 28, 2011 at 9:52 am

    all you need to know “When asked, Grajeda told the judge he had up to an eighth grade level education, but was certain that he wanted to represent himself.”

    • Eric Moore
      November 28, 2011 at 5:59 pm

      What I am understanding of the massage is; “Anyone should be able to stand up for their rights”, anyone, regarless of who you are, he is willing to go to jail for that, how many can say that and mean it….even if he looses he wins, he stud up for what he believes. They have a Deputy Distric Attorney on a mistameanor charge, even if this guy wins he looses.

  5. Eric Moore
    November 26, 2011 at 11:05 am

    You guys should give the Political Observer a try, it’s FREE, I get my copy at Berdies, but they were out the next day you can google it and get the place close to you that has it or ask them to send you or where you can get a FREE copy, these guys are very informative on what is going on with the Censord Council Meetings as well as other issues going on in the AV Valley, I believe Big Tuna distribues the paper as well, it’s FREE..

  6. David G
    November 23, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    Dear, To whom it may concern.

    My name is David Grajeda, I am writing this because I feel that it is necessary not only to defend myself not just in city hall but also criminal justice commissions, etc. I am in constant defense of my position, I acknowledge the fact that I cannot articulate my statements as well I would like to at times but the message is more important. I never write anything down I have only done that once the rest of the time I speak from the heart as well as add some details about what is going on in our city through the research I have done.

    I have done nothing wrong I have never threatened the mayor,city council, etc. In any way shape or form, sticks and stones. I didn’t expect reactions I am getting but needless to say I don’t turn away from it, why would I have to act any different in front of the judge,council or the press then I do in city hall or be in fear of what I might be thinking or saying actions speak louder then words when my course of actions is only words then my words will count.

    I do not have anyone behind me nor do I have anyone who ever told me what to say do or even think. I have gone up to the podium with my own free will to express myself through words also willing to defend myself with the power of my voice. For the individual who compared me to a mass murderer is very upsetting, anyone who uses the barrel of a gun in the attempts to prove a point or win an argument is a coward without a voice.

    I have put my family through so much stress and my big mouth is the reason why it has been so hard on everyone who is close to me. I have lost everything so ya I am also very very stressed out and I am running on emotion not with the city but with my family which is again my fault. I am not a violent person, I would never purposely hit anyone or threaten anyone. I am not ignorant of the law what so ever, I understand what constitutes force and I have not force city hall into paying attention to what I say. Which they seem to do a very good job with other speakers, maybe my message is a little different. I am the exact opposite of Micheal reeves but are message are very similar and sometimes the exact same. it is easy to marginalize someone who wont stand up and make a person engage you in a conversation because through debate ideas evolve or motives are revealed.

    yes, I have an 8th grade education but who ever said learning started in school.

    • Stinger
      November 23, 2011 at 7:04 pm

      David… I am not a big fan of yours. I am not fond of the way that you speak or act. You are definitely not a hero to me at all.

      That said, however, I also do not believe that you have done anything wrong. I watched the video of you speaking at the criminal justice commission and, although I would not have said things in the loudly abrasive way that you did, I believe that you did nothing wrong there and had every right to say what you did, as well as how you said it.

      I also DO believe that you are being harassed and threatened by Parris and his cronies in the city, as well as at the Lancaster Sheriff Station, and that your constitutional rights are being violated egregiously.

      Considering that you are facing very well entrenched, well moneyed, and VERY well legally versed foes, I can not believe that you would be so rash as to attempt to fight this in court without an attorney. PLEASE reconsider and get legal representation on this ASAP!!! You can bet that Parris and his cronies will have attorneys for themselves.

      I may not like what you have to say, or how you say it, but I absolutely believe in your right to say it. Because of this, your case affects everybody’s rights in Lancaster to free speech and redress of government. Please don’t blow it by going it alone – get an attorney for this!

      An old legal saying: “A man who is his own attorney in court has a fool for a client.”

      • David G
        November 25, 2011 at 7:46 pm

        thank you for your honesty.

    • :)
      November 27, 2011 at 10:48 am

      May I suggest contacting the ACLU, your freedom of speech is being violated, you had the right to say everything you said. Maybe also file a complaint on Lancaster to the general attorney of california.

  7. John Howard
    November 23, 2011 at 8:40 am

    Just one advocate for the domestic violence shelter is enough to prove that he is not only a threat to the Mayor and council, but a threat to his family and the public as a whole. His mannerisms when NOT the center of attention show him to be what he really is and they are only amplified when he is given the opportunity to be a focal point. I suspect that as things do not go his way in court he will be held in contempt. But rather than take responsibility for his actions he will again project them on to the government as the great conspiracy against him. “The city owns the judges, the sheriff are harassing his family, people are afraid to talk, etc.”
    Fact of the matter is he is emotionally immature and generally acts as such when faced with a stressful situation. Considering he is already a criminal and has no fear of prison the only thing preventing him from physically attacking someone is the restraining order and another nudge by his puppeteer David Abber.
    Anyone who can not comprehend how someone can take a gun into a public place and just shoot people.. this is what it looks like..

    • Stinger
      November 23, 2011 at 9:07 am

      Oh give me a break, “John Howard.” Nice try.

      This is not a case about anybody threatening the mayor, and everybody know it. Your attempt to redirect attention away from the crux of the matter of the right to free speech and redress of one’s governmental officials in the correct forum for such, is indicative of you being on the dole of the mayor.

    • froy
      November 23, 2011 at 10:41 am

      obvious lancaster city official… Mr, Grajeda is fighting for us all!!!

    • Jo
      November 25, 2011 at 8:45 pm

      Anyone else ever notice just how many things out there “scare” Rex?
      Good thing he’s never been depended on in any military fashion. Over developed sense of self preservation, Don’t you think?

      • Stinger
        November 25, 2011 at 9:36 pm

        Historically; only dictators have ever had to fear the populace. Parris has been afraid of the people of Lancaster since day one – he KNOWS what he is!

        Parris’ and his cronies’ days of freedom are numbered… Their prison time is getting longer!

    • Marissa
      November 25, 2011 at 9:49 pm

      This has to be the most ridiculous post I’ve read. David Abber is not capable of being anyone’s puppetmaster, and he’s been going around telling people he is going to be called to testify against David G. in court because that Crist character asked him too. Abber is a head case.
      I don’t always like the way David G. says things either, but its his damn 3 minutes to speak, what the hell is the city so afraid of??
      You don’t throw people in jail because you don’t like what they have to say or how they say it.. at least you aren’t supposed to in this country.
      Hate to break it to you, but the people who bring “guns into public places and just shoot people” look a lot more like Rex Parris than they do David G.. You know, control freaks with elevated opinions of themselves who can’t stand the fact that other people have opinions.. Or the super paranoid types that see threats everywhere they turn. Sound familiar???

  8. Stinger
    November 23, 2011 at 8:24 am

    *sigh* I had such hopes for this case, too.

  9. Matt Keltner
    November 22, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    Why do I get the feeling that we are headed for a Dog & Pony Show?

      November 22, 2011 at 11:30 pm

      Because we are! For someone with an 8th grade education to FIRE HIS ATTORNEY and claim that he knows everything there is to know about the law and then claim that he is going to subpoena everyone who works at City Hall all the way down to the janitor is really THE HEIGHT OF ARROGANCE! just so this clown can feel famous.

      Not amused! Not one bit!

      • Angel
        November 26, 2011 at 2:10 am

        you are one to speak

  10. Stinger
    November 22, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    He has a fool for a client.

    • Palmdale_Steve
      November 23, 2011 at 8:52 am

      “Arakaka urged Grajeda to make sure he is competent enough to represent himself because if he loses, he could serve a year in jail and face a $1,000 fine.”

      Indeed, but would he serve any time at all given all the crowding in the LA County jail?

Comments are closed.