A 30-year-old man is claiming that he slapped another man for driving too close to him, saying he thought the victim was falling asleep and needed to be woken up.
In the continuation of the bench trial for Ryan Duenas in Superior Court, Duenas said he slapped the alleged victim because he thought he was falling asleep.
“I slapped him to wake him up because I thought he was falling asleep…that’s why he was trying to hit me,” Duenas said.
The bench trial started last Monday and is still ongoing.
Duenas was represented by his counsel, Robert Torres, and the government was represented by Office of the Attorney general assistant attorney general Robert Glass Jr.
Superior Court Associate Judge Joseph Camacho is presiding over the case.
On or about Feb. 15, 2018, Duenas allegedly slapped another man in his vehicle for driving too close behind him, allegedly nearly hitting the back of his vehicle, in Chalan Kiya Drive.
Duenas has since been charged with one count of assault and battery and one count of disturbing the peace.
Aside from thinking that the victim was falling asleep, Duenas also testified that he was scared that the victim was a threat to his safety and he was merely practicing self-defense.
Duenas told the court that after he got out of his vehicle and confronted the victim who was driving a pickup truck, the victim allegedly threw a punch that Duenas dodged and retaliated with a slap to the right side of the victim’s face.
According to the victim’s testimony, he did not throw the first punch and that he was just sitting in his vehicle when Duenas approached him.
The victim said that Duenas had a machete, but Duenas said he did have a machete in his vehicle but did not bring it with him when he confronted the victim.
A witness of the prosecution, Duenas’s brother, said that he did not see a punch thrown by Duenas nor did he see Duenas back up as to dodge a punch during the altercation.