Belmont vice mayor appears in court

August 13, 2008 9:19:39 PM PDT
Belmont Vice Mayor Bill Dickenson appeared in San Mateo County Superior Court today to be arraigned on domestic violence charges, but did not enter a plea because he has not yet hired an attorney.orney.

Dickenson was arrested July 11 after his ex-girlfriend called police to report that Dickenson had allegedly grabbed her purse and swung her to the ground at a Redwood City restaurant, police said.

The alleged battery occurred around 4:30 p.m. at Redwood City Underground, a pub at 2650 Broadway. Dickenson was taken into custody that afternoon but released on $10,000 bail that night.

San Mateo County Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said Tuesday Dickenson faces two misdemeanor counts of domestic violence and one count of misdemeanor false imprisonment.

If convicted, he could serve up to a year in county jail.

Police say the woman claimed Dickenson was trying to keep her at the restaurant. When officers arrived, she had an abrasion to her left arm and armpit area and an abrasion to her right shoulder, Redwood City police Capt. Chris Cesena said.

Dickenson has disputed the woman's story, saying she hit him in the head with her purse after the two had been fighting over a business agreement. Dickenson said he and the alleged victim were joint owners of Redwood City Underground.

San Mateo County Superior Court Commissioner Stephanie Garratt today continued the case until Sept. 17, when Dickenson is scheduled to appear with an attorney and enter a plea.

The court also ordered Dickenson to refrain from making contact with the alleged victim.

As he left the courtroom today, Dickenson said he and his ex-girlfriend already have mutual restraining orders. He said he is not prepared to discuss his plea entry because he has not spoken with an attorney.

Dickenson also said the case is a private matter and expressed frustration with the attention it has received.

"I am not looking to influence anything past, present or future, and this has no bearing on my position as an elected official," Dickenson said. "The real issue is between (the woman) and myself."

The vice mayor, who said he has an open dialogue with city council members about the case, added that after the current court case has been resolved there will "most certainly" be a civil case in regard to the business arrangement between himself and his ex-girlfriend.


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