A Superior Court Judge ordered a 36-year-old man to stand trial for an early morning assault during a Fourth of July party.
Harry Klaus pleaded not guilty Sept. 17 to a single count each of assault and battery stemming from an incident around 2 a.m. July 5 with a female in the alley of Cleveland Street near Missouri Avenue in Oceanside.
If convicted, Klaus faces up to eight years in prison, Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Golovato said outside the courtroom.
Witnesses testified the fight broke out after Althea Green, who lives approximately 75 yards from where the altercation took place on the corner of Missouri Avenue, began making rude and threatening comments to partygoers on a third floor balcony of a condo in the alley of Cleveland Street.
William Rasp, the host of the party, identified Klaus during the hearing as the man who left the party to confront Green. He said prior to the incident, he didn’t know Klaus or Green.
“I was trying to dissolve the situation without anything bad happening,” Rasp said.
Oceanside police Officer Robert Moore said Green told him Klaus “rushed up on her” punching her in the face and then kicking her as she lay on the ground.
Green, who didn’t testify at the hearing, had her right eye swollen shut and a bloody nose, the officer said.
According to Moore, Green — who the officer knew from previous encounters — told him, “You know me, if someone gives me grief, I’m going to give them grief right back.”
Defense attorney Tanya Weston argued the evidence was inconclusive regarding who the aggressor was or if Klaus, who suffered scratches on his face, shoulders and swelling on his temporal lobe, had actually been acting in self-defense during the altercation.
Superior Court Judge Joel Pressman agreed with Golovato that the aforementioned issues should be for a jury to decide.
He then ordered Klaus, who’s currently free on bond, back to court Dec. 9 for trial.