Santa Cruz Indymedia :
Santa Cruz Indymedia

Lt. Rudy Escalante: a questionable career

Back in 1998-1999, Rudy Escalante was dating a woman with a teenage son. That teenager attended a party in the Beach Flats where he was observed "getting smashed" drinking alcohol. Two hispanic men arrived at the otherwise all-white party, but one of the men, Miguel Gutierrez was virtually assaulted by the drunken teenager. Miquel had to back up and retreat the party due to the drunken and violent attacks by the teenager.

As he backed up, he picked up a golf club and swung it around him to protect himself from what had suddenly become a hostile white gang spurred on by the teenager. The teenager still came forward to assault him, and Gutierrez struck him with the golf club, threw it in the bushes, and fled.

No one called the police to report Gutierrez or the attack, despite dozens of witnesses. Several days later, Escalante learned of his girlfriend's son's injuries and vowed to arrest "the guilty party."

He arrested Miguel Gutierrez, and in the search of his room, found 3 red baseball caps (Gutierrez had a collection of baseball caps). He declared these "gang colors." He found Gutierrez' younger brothers science project: a device which could shoot out a potato. He seized the science project as "a weapon." Judge Atack accepted all of this into evidence.

In court, all evidence of the teenage youth's drunken attack was ignored. The golf club was mysteriously never found. Atack even blamed Gutierrez for the teenager's being in a special ed class---assuming it had to do with the attack when it did not. Judge Robert Atack totally believed all of Escalante's machinations and sentenced Gutierrez to 4 years in prison, including gang enhancement charges.

The case clearly had self-defense elements to it.

Escalante, despite his own hispanic origins, is a racist cop against hispanics (I learned this from several hispanic youth who worked in one of Escalante's youth groups). He has no problem manufacturing evidence if the real facts are not sufficient for a conviction.

An article detailing Escalante's role in the Gutierrez case was published several years ago in "Street Spirit" newspaper.

Escalante should have been removed from the SCPD years ago. Sadly, the City tends to promote some of the most abusive officers.

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