A suspect seen in a viral Facebook video accosting a bicyclist in broad daylight near River Park earlier this month will appear in court Friday morning to answer to felony charges.
Video posted to Facebook shows the cyclist handing over his backpack at knifepoint at the corner of Blackstone and Nees. The clip caught the attention of the public, police, and Fresno City Councilman Garry Bredefeld.
Police arrested Gil Cajina, 28, shortly after the Oct. 8 robbery, said Fresno police spokesman Sgt. Jeff La Blue. He is currently booked into the Fresno County jail facing charges of second degree robbery and assault with a deadly weapon. He initially pleaded not guilty at his Oct. 14th arraignment. His case is set for a preliminary hearing Friday morning.
“This behavior is unacceptable,” Bredefeld tells GV Wire℠ by phone.
“This behavior is unacceptable.”–Fresno City Council Member Garry Bredefeld
According to Fresno police, the victim (described as a 17 year old male) was riding on his bike heading west on Nees. The suspect was seen pushing a bike “with a bunch of stuff,” police said.
“As he passed the suspect on the sidewalk, the victim tells the suspect, ‘thank you for moving over’, so he could continue to ride,” Sgt. Jeff LaBlue said.
The victim then stopped at the northeast corner of Blackstone and Nees and was approached by the suspect, LaBlue said.
“The suspect then asks the victim, ‘What the (expletive) did you just say to me?,” said LaBlue. The suspect then pulled out a large knife and demanded the victim turn over his backpack, according to LaBlue.
Police said the suspect got away with only about $50 worth of clothing in the backpack.
Suspect Arrested Previously
Cajina was arrested just a few weeks prior to the alleged bicyclist robbery for receiving stolen property, police said.
“They’re now holding these criminals in jail,” says Bredefeld referring to complaints that emergency bail policies have resulted in the release of dangerous offenders. “We need to hold these criminals accountable.”
After an increase in violent crime in the city, Fresno County District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp and several law enforcement leaders including Fresno police chief Andy Hall addressed the media at a Wednesday afternoon news conference at the county Plaza Building. Hall blamed the early release of state prisoners and $0 bail as reasons for the increase.
Hall praised a recent decision by the Fresno County Superior Court to exempt more crimes from the county’s $0 bail rules.
Suspect in Court
On October 14, according to court documents, the judge in his case denied Cajina’s request for a pre-trial release and remanded him back into custody setting his bail amount at $170,000.