Trial postponed for vandalism suspect

Kari Thumlert

A former CSUN student who was arrested for setting off five fire alarms and cited for vandalism received his third postponement at San Fernando Superior Court on May 5, after his defense attorney who has been retained by the suspect’s family made the request.

Steven Mandell, the student’s defense attorney, told Judge Daniel B. Feldstern he would like to postpone again because he needs time to work out a settlement offer made by Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo’s office.

Feldstern granted the request, but said it would be “the last time, no further continuances.” The first postponement was on Feb. 29 and the second one was on April 8.

When asked what the offer is from Delgadillo’s office, Mandell said he could not comment as it was still being negotiated, but said that his client is very “remorseful and penitent” for causing the students any harm, disrupting classes and impeding emergency personnel.

“He intends to pay for the damages he inflicted on the campus and to the Los Angeles Fire Department,” Mandell said. “He regrets his actions.”?

Furthermore, “He is attempting to pay restitution as soon as possible, but (the damage) is many thousands of dollars and he isn’t working.? He’s trying to borrow the money over the next few months and will pay his lenders back over time.”

The 23-year-old male suspect was arrested by the CSUN Police Department and cited for one count of vandalism on Jan. 22. He was cited again on Feb. 1, for five counts of unlawful tampering with a fire alarm, said Christina Villalobos, public information officer for the CSUN PD.

The case was sent to Delgadillo’s office and he will determine the charges and decide if he wants to prosecute, Villalobos said.

Mandell said the charges that were filed have been reduced to one count of vandalism and three counts of tampering with a fire alarm.

Villalobos and Mandell both said the charges are misdemeanors under California Penal Code 594(a) and 148.4(a). The codes state that the crimes are punishable with community service, fines, jail time, probation and/or restitution.

Apprehension of the suspect by the CSUN PD was only possible because “another good Samaritan came forward and identified who she saw pull the fire alarm,” Villalobos said.