Yesterday, the Santa Barbara Superior Court found former UCSB student Aseye Allah guilty of obstructing a police officer, at the same time refusing to reach a verdict regarding her friend and co-defendant Meron Meshesha’s identical charge.
The case stemmed from an argument outside the now-defunct Cooney’s nightclub on State Street in which one of Meshesha’s friends was assaulted. Meshesha was arrested trying to help her friend Reggie Smith after he was hit in the face. The jury was hung 11-1.
According to an associate at the Gary S. Casselman law firm, which represented both women, Santa Barbara Police Dept. Officer Andre Feller testified that he arrested Meshesha after she ran into him and allegedly grabbed his arm. However, Meshesha said in court that she never heard the officer’s warnings and instructions to back away.
Meanwhile, Allah testified that she had, in fact, heard officers instruct her to move away, but after being shoved, she remained in place. Based on this information, the jury found her guilty of a misdemeanor for obstructing a police officer, Casselman’s associate said. Currently, Meshesha and Allah also have a pending civil suit filed against the city, alleging their civil rights were violated during the night in question.