Family Feud

Marciano Piceno was held on three felony counts and several misdemeanors last Wednesday, stemming from what his defense attorney, Assistant Public Defender Anthony Adams, characterized as a family feud with Ysidro Fuentes and his sons, one of whom, Andres Fuentes, was called to testify in a preliminary hearing Wednesday.

Marciano Piceno

Andres Fuentes said that on June 15th he was walking back from Mountain Mike’s Pizza on State Street in south Ukiah, pushing his two-year-old son in a stroller, when Marciano Piceno got off his bike and “charged at me [Andres] with a knife, saying ‘I will kill you’.”

Deputy DA Joe Guzman had Andres Fuentes demonstrate how Piceno was holding the knife and how close he came to the child in the stroller. “He held it above his head, like this, and was about three feet from my son and maybe four or five feet from me.”

“Were you afraid?”

“Yes. Because my life and my son’s life were put in jeopardy.”

“Do you know the defendant?”

“He lives in the same neighborhood.”

“But you would not call him a friend?”

“No.”

“Had there been another altercation between you and him?”

“About a month before I got spit on by Mr. Piceno and we got into a physical fight. He has been harassing me for a long time. The day before when I was walking home, Marciano [Piceno] and a younger sibling grabbed me from behind and struck me with a metal bar.”

“Were you injured?”

“Yes, I got as severe concussion.”

“Did you go to the hospital?”

“Yes.”

“Did you call the police?”

“No.”

“That was on the 14th – but then on the 15th you do [call the police] – why is that?”

“Because he said, ‘It’s on!’ Then he saw I was calling and started walking away.”

 “Was your son in the stroller visible?”

“Yes. I said ‘You see my son right in front of you? Come on…’ and he said, ‘I don’t give a fuck’.”

“Nothing further.”

Anthony Adams on cross-examination: “You kept your son between you and him [Piceno]?”

“For the moment… but I was pulling it back.”

“Did someone call Mr. Piceno’s name?”

“No. “

“He didn’t leave because someone arrived but because you called the police?”

“Right.”

“Did you tell Officer DeLapo that he [Piceno] said he’d kill you?”

“I did.”

“Remember telling DeLapo there’d been recent incidents between Mr. Piceno and the Fuentes family?”

“Yes.”

“Between you, or the family?”

“Me and my family, my father. … I’m not sure.”

“Is it possible he threatened you because you had threatened him?”

“You’re asking me if I or my family threatened him?”

“Objection.”

“Overruled.”

“Personally, I haven’t [threatened him].” 

“Didn’t you tell the investigator that Mr. Piceno and your father had had angry or violent words?”

“To my knowledge, no.”

“Didn’t you threaten to cut off Mr. Piceno’s hair?”

“No.”

“On June 14th you didn’t call the police after being attacked?”

“I did not. I went to the hospital and they reported it.”

“Why didn’t you report it?”

“Because I was afraid.

“But on the 15th, the next day, why weren’t you afraid then?”

“I felt things were getting out of hand,”

Officer Anthony DeLapo of the Ukiah Police was called to the WalMart parking lot on a report of a man, who proved to be Marciano Piceno, throwing his bike into a vehicle and pulling a knife on the driver; the driver was Ysidro Fuentes, the father of Andres Fuentes. A witness, David Guzman, reported the incident, and told the officer he saw the defendant throw his bicycle into the vehicle as it was parking, then pulled a knife.

“Did Mr. Fuentes do anything to provoke the action?”

“No.”

“Did the witness know the defendant?”

“No.”

 “So the victim told you?”

“Yes. He [Ysidro Fuentes] knew the Mr. Piceno lived in the area and there’d been multiple unreported incidents between Mr. Piceno and the victim’s sons.”

“Did [father] Ysidro Fuentes say what happened next?”

“He said Mr. Piceno walked to the driver’s side and started yelling threats, having pulled out a knife.”

Deputy DA Guzman showed some photos of the scuff marks and a scratch on the passenger-side door of the vehicle. He then asked if Mr. Fuentes had gotten an estimate for the cost of the damages, and was told it came to a whopping $2,599.78.

Mr. Adams was incredulous that it would cost that much to buff out a few scuffs and a scratch on a older Dodge Caravan, and Judge John Behnke agreed it was a matter for a licensed auto-body repair shop, and sustained Adams’s objection to the estimate, which meant the charge of vandalism would be reduced to a misdemeanor. Adams then asked Officer DeLapo if there wasn’t some kind of family feud going on between Mr. Piceno and the Fuentes family. DeLapo agreed there was “some kind of feud” going on, and it was DeLapo who responded to the incident on June 15th near Mountain Mike’s.

“Did he [Andres Fuentes] tell you Mr. Piceno said, ‘I will kill you’?”

“Objection.”

“Overruled.”

“I don’t remember.”

“Is it in your report?”

“No.”

“But it’s the kind of thing you’d put in your report isn’t it?”

“Yes, sir.”

“What is in your report?”

“That a person in a blue vehicle called out to Mr. Piceno to get in, and they left.”

“The statement made was he rode up on a bike and left in a vehicle?”

“Yes.”

“Was the bike present?”

“No, sir.”

“Is there a fence behind Mountain Mike’s?”

“Objection, outside the scope of direct.”

“Sustained.”

“Did Andres tell you the two parties were on opposite sides of a fence?”

“I don’t know where it was.”

“Page two of your report…”

Mr. Adams had no affirmative evidence to present at the time – should the case go to trial. It seems likely that we’ll get to hear Mr. Piceno’s side of things, but for the time being, Judge Behnke held Piceno to answer on the two felony attacks on Andres Fuentes, the one with the metal bar and the knife, as well as endangering the child in the stroller. There were other counts that the defense had stipulated to, as well as prison priors for the defendant who remained in custody, keeping the family feud from escalating any further, as it had already – in Andres’s phrase, “gotten out of hand.”

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