Benjamin Israel Siminou was arraigned for battery and petty theft in San Diego on Thursday, October 25th at the downtown courthouse, San Diego (1100 Union Street). In an attempt to avoid publicity, neither the defendant nor his attorney appeared in open court. The arraignment was done by FAX!
Siminou is a prominent, young, personal injury attorney in San Diego. He attacked an elderly, pro-American protester at the “Keeping Families Together” march on Saturday, June 30, 2018 at Waterfront Park near downtown San Diego.
The San Diego Union Tribune initially reported that the man, who turned out to be Siminou was arrested on a charge of strong-armed robbery, a felony, but he is not being arraigned on that charge. He was instead charged by the City Attorney’s Office with misdemeanor battery (PC242) and petty theft (PC484). (They were expected to charge the attacker with a felony until they found out he was a well-known, well-connected, local attorney.) The case number is M251687.
The pro-Trump, counter-protester, Daniel Russell, is a long-time, pro-immigration-law-enforcement activist, an Army veteran and a retired San Diego firefighter. Dan is 75 years old and a patient with an incurable form of cancer.
The attack can be seen in this video at about 4:00 when Siminou pushed Russell backwards hard onto the concrete and then runs away with his sign. There were about 10-12 law enforcement officers in the immediate vicinity of the attack, mostly Sheriff’s deputies and two SDPD detectives. The attack was carried out in full view of these officers and three of them tackled Siminou immediately when he tried to run with Russell’s pro-Trump, pro-immigration-law-enforcement protest sign.
This is my video posted on Facebook and my YouTube channel and anyone has my permission to download it and re-use it in whole or any part of it.
Protesters concerned about families attack grandfather of a family
News coverage – San Diego Union Tribune
The other person arrested was Julie Lourdes Coralles for vandalizing Russell’s pro-Trump, build-the-wall / enforce-the-law sign (at 4:29). The City Attorney refused to prosecute or cite Coralles, even though she was caught on video ripping up his sign.
Siminou worked with a leading legal firm, but separated about six months earlier, Thorsnes Bartolotta McGuire, and now has his own office in Liberty Station, Siminou Appeals.
Siminou was scheduled to be awarded the national “Pound Award” the very next week in Colorado for his lawsuit against drug companies, regarding their liability for generic drug labeling. However, after his attack on the elderly veteran, the Pound Civil Justice Institute removed his name from the award, due to calls by by a concerned citizen. See original award description here.
Still Images from the video can also be downloaded from this link, which anyone has permission to re-use.
San Diego Union Tribune Article
For second weekend, Trump’s immigration policies at center of San Diego protests
Two people were arrested during the protest — one on a charge of strong-armed robbery, which involved a protester taking a sign from another, and a second on a vandalism charge, sheriff’s officials said. More detailed information on the arrests was not available, though Lt. Rich Williams said the person arrested for vandalism was cited and released.
San Diego Reader Article
Build the Wall sign attracts Waterfront Park scuffle
On July 9 Russell called the D.A.’s office and was told they decided not to file a felony charge against Siminou (the arraignment that day was cancelled) and would transfer the case to the City Attorney’s office to be reviewed for a misdemeanor charge.
City attorney Mara Elliott’s chief of staff Gerry Braun responded to my request for comment by accusing me of advancing the positions of a hate group.