Probation Officer Trial Begins
A Stevenson Ranch probation officer ran a roadblock during last fall’s wildfires because he was responding to the “uncharacteristic hysteria” in his wife’s voice as she described flames rolling down the hill toward their home, his defense attorney said Thursday.
Attorney Tony Zinnanti delivered his opening arguments in the trial of Los Angeles County probation officer Everett Scott, 37, who stands accused of disobeying a California Highway Patrol officer and resisting arrest. Scott led the CHP officer and sheriff’s deputies for a nearly mile-long chase to his house before he pulled over near his house.
“I began to explain to him that I understand his problem, but I have an order,” CHP motorcycle officer Matthew Hill testified as Scott’s trial got under way in San Fernando Superior Court.
“Before I could finish explaining, he began to turn the steering wheel and (started to) accelerate,” said Hill, who had stopped Scott at the roadblock.
Prosecutor Laura Knight Jackson told jurors that the situation was no excuse for Scott to break the law. Scott’s disobedience may have kept emergency workers from being able to properly perform their duties, she said.
Hill was posted at Poe Parkway and Hemingway Avenue and ordered to stop vehicles from traveling west on Poe Parkway to keep civilians from hindering firefighters. He testified that he stopped Scott, who was driving a Mercedes, and told him he couldn’t pass. Scott told him that his wife was in distress.
Before he could continue the conversation, Hill said, Scott turned the wheel and started to drive around him. Hill said he grabbed onto Scott’s car as Scott drove off and was nearly dragged before he let go.
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