A Solano County Superior Court judge found probable cause Wednesday to move forward with a trial for a Vacaville man and gang member facing a series of felony vandalism charges.
The suspect, Iseah Garza, 18, is a known member of a local criminal street gang and the vandalism — that occurred in September — served to benefit the man’s gang, a witness testified Wednesday.
During a two-day probable cause hearing, the court heard testimony from Vacaville police officers, who looked into the allegations that Garza and one other man had smashed cars with baseball bats on the evening of Sept. 28 in Vacaville.
Vacaville Police Officer and gang expert, James Criste, detailed on the stand his familiarity with Garza and his gang affiliations. Criste testified that the car-smashing served to benefit the Garza’s gang, the Norteno criminal street gang. The cars that were allegedly vandalized were parked at a rival gang-affiliated house, the officer said.
According to another Vacaville police officer’s testimony, a witness of the incident told the officer that she saw two men smashing cars with baseball bats on the night of the Sept. 28. The woman then told the officer that she ran away from the scene but saw another car arrive at the scene and later heard gun shots.
Following testimony from the investigating officers, the judge found there was enough evidence for Garza to stand trial.
The suspect will next appear in Solano County Superior Court at 8:30 a.m. Jan. 9 for a held to answer arraignment, where a tentative trial date may be set.
Garza is not new to the legal system.
In July, the 18-year-old was detained by police after a vehicle pursuit, where the man was suspected of driving a stolen vehicle at speeds more than 50 mph on Vacaville city streets.
In addition to two felony vandalism charges, Garza also is facing charges of assault with a firearm, probation violation and possession of a stolen vehicle.
He remains in Solano County Jail and held on no bail.