Three San Bruno family members convicted of resisting arrest after they came to the aid of a relative who threw a firework under a police officer’s patrol car on the Fourth of July 2011 were sentenced Friday to varying jail terms.
Ephraim DeVera Rapada, 60, Crystal Anne Rapada, 29, and Ervin James Rapada, 27, were each convicted of misdemeanor resisting arrest but acquitted of numerous assault charges. The Rapadas’ defense attorneys had argued they acted in self-defense and were themselves victims of police brutality after Wendell Jennings Rapada, 32, threw the M-1000 then ran to the family’s apartment.
On Friday, Crystal Rapada’s attorney unsuccessfully sought to have the case dismissed because of inconsistent verdicts and later to have his client sentenced to time served. Instead, she received 120 days in jail on two counts and cried when remanded into custody, according to Chief Deputy District Attorney Karen Guidotti.
Ephraim DeVera Rapada was also denied a sentence of time served but Judge Leland Davis imposed 90 days jail. Ervin Rapada, convicted on three counts of resistance, received 120 days. They were also immediately taken into custody.
Wendell Rapada was convicted of felony battery on a police officer, misdemeanor resisting arrest and violating his earlier probation for a June 2010 unlawful possession of a firearm. On Monday, he was sentenced to two years jail followed by a year of mandatory supervision.
The incident began when two San Bruno police officers, acting as part of a countywide fireworks abatement team, saw a M-1000 lobbed from an apartment complex to the street and roll underneath their car. They chased the suspect, Wendell Rapada, to an East Avenue complex and up to an outside balcony.
The prosecution argued that as Rapada punched at the officers, his cousins Crystal and Ervin Rapada and father Ephraim DeVera Rapada exited the apartment and joined in. The elder Rapada was also accused of trying to lift an officer over the balcony which is 13 feet above ground and another reported feeling somebody try to remove his gun as he lost consciousness. Another group of officers responded to calls for backup and arrested the four Rapadas charged in the case.