Four transients beat down another transient in front of a popular taco shop in Oceanside, and then left on their bicycles with the victim’s cell phone and wallet and other belongings, it was alleged in court.
The leader of the bandits, Shakey, demanded “Don’t talk to my woman!” and warned “I will kill you!” according to testimony of the alleged victim, Willie, who said he is 66 years old.
Then Shakey and Oopsie and two other men, who had arrived on bikes, punched and kicked Willie to the ground, there in front of Pedro’s Tacos, about 9 pm on September 12. This according to Willie, who only knew his attackers by their nicknames.
“They immediately left after I stood up,” Willie testified in San Diego Superior Court on Wednesday, November 14. “They all jumped on their bikes and rode away.” Willie last saw his Adidas gym bag on top of the cement picnic table where he had been seated.
Willie suffered two knots on his forehead, black eyes, and his nose was painful for weeks.
Responding to a prosecutor, Willie would not describe himself as “homeless.” He said “I hate that word.” Instead, “I’m a traveller.” It was women and alcohol that caused him to become a traveller, he said, and he was evicted from his last apartment in June, 2014.
Willie had recently “travelled” to a new location, the Chevron gasoline station at the corner of Benet Road and highway 76. He learned a week prior that it was a “staging place” where other travellers gathered at the end of each day, before going into the nearby San Luis Rey riverbed for the night.
The gasoline station also houses Pedro’s Tacos, which has concrete tables in front. This location is also conveniently near Brother Benno’s, a resource for the homeless.
Even though Willie did not know the proper names of his attackers, he was able to pick out four suspects from photo lineups offered by Oceanside police, officer Brian Campagna testified.
Four men in court pleaded not-guilty during a preliminary hearing. Roderick Tremell Nicholas, 47, also known as Shakey, denied robbery and meth charges. Edward Carl Davis, 21, known as Oopsie, also has several other, active court cases, these include robberies-at-knifepoint of other homeless men. Warren Johnson, 56, and James Lawrence Pittman, 39, denied robbery and assault charges.
Each court-appointed defense attorney argued that his own client did not actually do any crime, but was only a spectator to the event.