A 17-year-old Vallejo boy was held over for trial Monday on charges stemming from the beating of a Vallejo public works department employee earlier this month.Matthew Hicks Jr. has been charged as an adult with assault, battery and robbery in connection with the Feb. 1 attack on Vallejo city employee Harold Cabral, 47. He will re-enter pleas on March 5, when a trial date might be set, his attorney Eric Safire said this morning A 15-year-old boy also was arrested in connection with the assault but is being prosecuted as a juvenile. His name is being withheld because of his age.Solano County Superior Court Judge Kim Tam held Hicks to answer to those charges on Monday and also found he inflicted grievous injury on
Cabral, a finding Cabral’s attorney disputes.”There was no evidence of that,” Safire said. The assault was the first in a series of violent crimes in Vallejo this month, including the shooting murder of Hicks’ father, 42-year-old Matthew Hicks Sr., on Feb. 8.Police said Cabral’s assault and Hicks Sr.’s murder are not connected. Cabral, a Suisun City resident, was driving on Broadway Street when someone threw an object at his backhoe, Vallejo police said. When he got out of the backhoe he was attacked by several juveniles and knocked to the ground, where he was swarmed by more than 40 people, according to police. The event was captured on a video by a camera a nearby market and by a witness at the scene.Safire said Hicks was defending his friend, the 15-year-old boy in custody, when he assaulted Cabral.”My client admitted his involvement. He even wrote a letter of apology to the victim,” Safire said. “He was responding to the victim attacking his friend. “Safire said the case should have been prosecuted as a misdemeanor.”In light of the political events in Vallejo, they’re trying to make an example of this teenager,” Safire said, referring to the city’s financial problems and a resulting reduction in the police force, which has been a source of controversy.”It’s alarming to me that the murderer of his father is still on the streets. They wouldn’t allow him (Hicks Jr.) to attend his father’s funeral. There’s something wrong here,” Safire said.Hicks’ prosecutor Barry Tiara did not immediately return calls for comment this afternoon.
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