san diego
Assault suspect released from mental hospital
Published Thursday, 12-Aug-2010 in issue 1181
A bisexual man who is accused of slashing his ex-boyfriend’s face in 2008 has been released from a mental hospital after a judge found him mentally competent to stand trial.
Amier Rocky Issa, 33, appeared before San Diego Superior Court Judge David Danielsen on August 10, after he posted $20,000 bond. Danielsen set a trial date for Sept. 21.
Issa is accused of assault with a deadly weapon and making a criminal threat to Michael Serrato, 28, in a July 11, 2008, incident in Hillcrest. Issa has pleaded not guilty. Serrato worked at a Hillcrest restaurant at the time and claimed Issa followed him from work and cut him in the face with a knife.
Issa’s attorney filed court papers saying Serrato greatly exaggerated the incident and that he was actually cut with a computer tool that Issa had been holding. His attorney, Stephen Cline, said in court documents that Issa only dated Serrato about 10 months, and is not gay. Cline wrote that Issa was engaged last Feb. to a woman from Indonesia.
A judge committed Issa to Patton State Hospital on April 7 after he determined Issa was not mentally competent and criminal proceedings were suspended. Doctors notified the court they found Issa in July to be mentally competent and recommended he return to court.
Issa disputed to doctors that he had mental illness and was argumentive about his commitment to Patton, according to court records. Issa’s attorney had told a judge he couldn’t cooperate with his defense, something Issa disputed.
The doctors found that Issa did not have any psychosis and was not violent or aggressive at Patton. They did not prescribe anti-psychotic medications, even though it was authorized, because he didn’t need it, they wrote. He did participate in group therapy while there.
They did write that Issa was agitated at his attorney for causing him to go to the mental hospital. A judge committed him only after his attorney said he doubted his mental competency. He was returned from Patton and placed in county jail, but he posted $20,000 bond on August 3.
Issa denies the charges in the case. A restraining order barring him from within 100 yards from Serrato remains in place. l

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