Ken Leighton 2 p.m., Feb. 22
Man accused of assault to benefit Oceanside gang
A young man who reportedly brandished a knife during a street brawl in Oceanside was accused of assault with a deadly weapon for benefit of a criminal street gang, in San Diego’s North County Superior court yesterday.
David Nevitt Kortcamp, 20, pleaded not guilty and denied being a member of the Varrio Posole Locos gang, through his public defender. He is accused of producing a knife and making “swipes” at another person during a scuffle in the 1900 block of Mission Avenue.
Oceanside Police Detective Torino Valdovinos said the incident happened the night of July 14, when members of two different gangs, the Varrio Posole Locos and the Center Street Gang, menaced each other about 10 p.m. that Saturday night. When onlookers nearby saw the developing situation and tried to intervene, the Good Samaritans became the targets of knife “swipes” and a beating, officers testified in court Monday.
An alleged friend or “homie” of defendant Kortcamp, who said his name is Santiago “Danny” Martinez, testified for the defense. This witness said he responded to a “C” sign or hand signal that was “thrown” or displayed at him – he believed by a member of the Center Street Gang. “Yes, I wanted to fight him, yeah,” witness Santiago “Danny” Martinez told a judge yesterday. But before he engaged that man in a fight, the witness said he first phoned his friend David Nevitt Kortcamp for assistance. The witness said his friend Kortcamp did come to assist, and Kortcamp did draw a knife, but only to intimidate the persons nearby and cause them to back away, he explained to the judge.
During cross-examination by prosecutor Jon Oliphant, witness Santiago “Danny” Martinez confirmed that he did drink two 24 ounce cans of King Cobra and smoked some marijuana that day, but reported that he was not high, just "buzzed."
Defendant David Nevitt Kortcamp and witness Santiago “Danny” Martinez both denied being members of the Varrio Posole Locos street gang. However, multiple Oceanside police officers testified that in their opinions both young men are in fact gang members.
Superior court Judge Harry Elias commented that by engaging in a fight as a response to a hand-sign flashed as a gang challenge, might be enough to document a person as a gang member. Judge Elias ordered Kortcamp to face one felony charge of assault with a deadly weapon for benefit of a criminal street gang, and set his next court date for October 29. Kortcamp remains at liberty on bond previously posted.
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