Fresno Unified Board Trustee, Terry Slatic, will not have criminal charges filed against him for a physical altercation that occurred between him and a student in January, the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office announced Friday.
The DA’s office declined to file a battery charge against Slatic, as well as a criminal threats charge against an unidentified 15-year-old male.
The video of the altercation from Jan. 11 at around 3:30 p.m. at the snack bar area of Bullard High School shows Slatic walk by a student. He is drawn in by something the student allegedly said. Then he grabs the student’s backpack and tries to pull him in the opposite direction. The student pushes Slatic and the backpack drops to the ground. The student motions, as if to fight, before grabbing the backpack and running away.
The DA’s office explains, in reviewing cases for filing criminal charges, prosecutors are required to follow certain ethical considerations. They may only file charges if:
- There has been a complete investigation and thorough consideration of all pertinent data.
- There is legally sufficient, admissible evidence of a corpus delicti.
- There is legally sufficient, admissible evidence of the accused’s identity as the perpetrator of the crime.
- The prosecutor has considered the probability of conviction by an objective fact finder hearing the admissible evidence.
The investigative reports, audio and video-recorded witness statements and the surveillance video recording that captured the physical altercation were reviewed and evaluated, the office says.
“In order to prosecute Mr. Slatic for the crime of battery, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Slatic touched the juvenile in a harmful or offensive manner, and that Mr. Slatic did not act in self defense or in defense of someone else. The juvenile’s threat to Mr. Slatic, in conjunction with the recorded video and statements of witnesses, resulted in the legal conclusion that the prosecution would not be able to disprove that Mr. Slatic acted in self-defense.”