Former Navy SEAL Kyle Blackwell, accused of punching an unsuspecting immigrant taxi driver in December 2013, now faces a two-to-four year prison term on felony assault charges filed by San Diego County District Attorney's Office on July 28.
Released on $200,000 bail
According to the charges, Blackwell committed the assault "by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury" against a Mr. Anthony Delgado on July 18 of this year. Blackwell was released on $200,000 bail and will appear before a judge on August 10.
The July 18 felony assault is Blackwell's latest brush with the law.
In December 2013, [as first reported in a December 2014 Reader cover story], Blackwell, who at the time was 24 years of age, allegedly punched Avtar Singh shortly after Singh had dropped him and his then-fiancee off at the Bayfront Hilton.
Broken window caused forehead lump, ran from scene
According to Singh, Blackwell exited the car and punched Singh through his driver's side window, breaking the glass in the process and causing a large lump to Singh's forehead. The then-Navy SEAL attempted to run from the scene. In an attempt to keep Blackwell from fleeing, the taxi driver followed. Additional scuffles ensued.
In interviews to police, Blackwell confessed to breaking the window, however, not by punching it but as a result of slamming the rear passenger door.
Feared "Muslim extremist"
In a statement to police during the December 2013 incident, Blackwell said he feared Singh was "a Muslim extremist and wasn’t sure what he was capable of.”
Harbor police cited Blackwell for two counts of misdemeanor battery. Months later, San Diego city attorney Jan Goldsmith's office dismissed the charges before any trial took place. The city attorney, failing to contact Singh in regards to their decision, ordered Blackwell to pay Singh $150 to replace the window.
City Attorney playing favorites?
Singh later filed a lawsuit against the Navy and Blackwell. According to Singh's attorney, Dan Gilleon, the two sides were attempting to settle the case for an undisclosed amount. The talks have since stalled, says Gilleon, over a confidentiality request from Blackwell.
According to attorney Gilleon, news of the July 18 assault only strengthens his client's claims and shows Blackwell's violent behavior.
In addition Gilleon blames the city attorney's office for failing to hold Blackwell accountable and playing favorites.
"Courts refer to prosecutors as 'shepherds of justice,'" says Gilleon in a August 4 interview.
"Cowardly" Seal played "hero"
"But, in this case, the city attorney's office got fleeced by a cowardly SEAL who played the 'hero' card. If the city attorney's office were
honest, they would admit they let Blackwell go free because they feared losing a case where a Navy SEAL was charged with beating an Indian cab driver. That's not justice. That's politics. And, in the process my client's rights were handled like the corrupt country he was born in, and Blackwell was set free to pursue his drunken violence against the citizens, unfettered by any sense of fear that justice would prevail if he did it again. I think Mr. Delgado was a victim not only of a violent thug, but also of a sheep-like prosecutor who dropped the ball when it mattered."