New state law could let Republican stabber walk

Posted on 09/11/2018 10:59 am

By Ted Martin
Special to

OAKLAND – The East Bay man who attacked a GOP candidate this week with a switchblade could be let out of jail without criminal charges, thanks to a recently passed law in California.

The legislation, the Mental Health Diversion Act, which steers mentally ill suspects charged with violent crimes into public treatment programs, already freed a Central Valley teen who threatened to massacre fellow students at their graduation.

“How convenient that AB1810 is on the books for guys like this so he can get mental health diversion instead of a trial,” said one veteran political observer in Pasadena.

“His attorney can get a phony mental health evaluation. The prosecution can’t question it and has no say at all. If the judge buys the defense argument, the suspect gets diversion, after which his record will be wiped clean.”

The suspect, Farzad Felazi, an Iranian-American, pulled a switchblade on Rudy Peters, who is running for an East Bay congressional seat, at a festival Sunday in Castro Valley, after screaming anti-Trump comments at the candidate, according to witnesses.

Felazi, 35, a trained security guard whose criminal history includes burglary and assault charges, has a Facebook page filled with bizarre political screeds and praise for a Colombian drug kingpin, perhaps setting the stage for such a plea under the new law.

The act has already been used successfully. Weeks ago, in Fresno, Kyle Dwelle, 18, who threatening to shoot people at the Buchanan High School’s graduation, was released from custody after three months in jail.

Attorneys say he was able to get out of because the new law enacted by Governor Jerry Brown last month.

Defense lawyers hail the new law, as do Democrats in Sacramento who passed it.

However, many who work in the criminal system don’t agree.

AB1810 is “the most irresponsible legislation our state has ever seen,” San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan said.

San Luis Obispo District Attorney Dan Dow said the law has a dangerous loophole.

“We have this situation where right now, someone who is mentally ill and dangerous because they’ve committed a crime, can purchase a firearm legally, more easily than somebody who has committed a crime and is not mentally ill.”

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2 years ago

So, if this person tried to stab a democrat he would get the same treatment? Right?

Rob P.
Rob P.
2 years ago

What does this irresponsible Democratic legislature have to do before California voters throw the bums out? Seems like every other day they pass a law that defies all common sense. The two groups that they absolutely love are criminals and illegal aliens. Law abiding citizens be damned.