LANCASTER – The criminal case has been dropped against a 63-year-old woman whose son was beaten by Lancaster deputies at Antelope Valley Hospital last year.
Maria Chiclana had been charged with resisting an officer for her role in a violent altercation between her son, Marco Chiclana, and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies. The fight was caught on tape April 2, 2011 (view the video below).
Marco Chiclana, 35, called deputies to the hospital to assist him with his father, Damaso Chiclana, who was disoriented after surgery and trying to leave the hospital against doctors’ wishes. For reasons unclear by the parking lot security footage, Marco ended up in fight with six deputies in the hospital parking lot.
Marco, Maria, Damaso, and friend, Ibarra Deleon, were all arrested in connection with the incident.
Deputies claim Marco was the aggressor in the scuffle. Marco was charged with eight felony counts, including resisting arrest, battery on an officer and mayhem.
Damaso, Maria and Ibarra were each charged with felony resisting an officer. Damaso’s and Ibarra’s cases were dismissed last year. Maria’s charge was reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor during her preliminary hearing, according to her defense attorney Bradley Gage, who took on the case after the preliminary hearing.
Gage said Maria’s case was dismissed altogether on May 4, 2012, after he requested a probable cause hearing, and the district attorney was unable to present evidence demonstrating probable cause to charge Maria.
“He advised the court that he was unable to proceed,” Gage said, adding that, normally, when a DA is unable to proceed, it’s because the arresting officer is not present.
“The arresting officer was deputy Esswein, and deputy Esswein was in court that day…” Gage said. “The fact that the DA could not proceed further demonstrates there was no reason they should have brought these charges to begin with.”
“The District Attorney’s Office should be commended for doing the right thing and dismissing the charges against Maria,” Gage added.
Marco Chiclana’s criminal case is still pending.
Gage is not representing Marco in the criminal case, however, he is representing the Chiclana family in a civil lawsuit against the Sheriff’s Department in connection with the April 2, 2011 incident.
Read more on that lawsuit here.