Five of Six People Charged with Felony Vandalism of Historic Courthouse make First Court Appearance
Thu, 06/10/2022 - 05:00
RIVERSIDE – Five of the six people charged with felony vandalism of the Historic Courthouse in July made their first court appearance today, Oct. 6, 2022, at the Hall of Justice in Riverside.
Those charged are Aida Y. Aston, DOB: 5-25-90; Alexander Jacob Castro, DOB: 9-27-99; Kamile Dincsoy, DOB: 11-29-73; Alexandria T. Fite, DOB: 4-25-90; Elise S. Kelder, DOB: 1-20-94; and Oliver E. Solares Herrera, DOB: 7-10-98. All six were charged on Sept. 30, 2022, with a violation of Penal Code section 594(a). Damage of more than $400 is a felony under that Penal Code section.
All but Dincsoy appeared in court to be arraigned today in Dept. 41. Aston’s arraignment was continued to Jan. 12, 2023. The others who appeared in court entered not guilty pleas and now have felony settlement conferences scheduled for that same date in Dept. 41. Dincsoy is out of the county and an arrest warrant was issued on Oct. 4.
“The public has a right to peacefully protest and express their political views,” said DA Mike Hestrin. “As District Attorney, I am committed to protecting these rights guaranteed to us by our U.S. and California Constitutions. But when peaceful protesters turn violent or begin to vandalize and damage or destroy property, their actions can no longer be considered a peaceful protest. We cannot and will not tolerate vandalism and destruction of any property in Riverside County.”
On the evening of Saturday, July 30, 2022, a concerned resident called 911 to report that a group of demonstrators was painting green handprints on the exterior walls, doors, and pillars of the Historic Courthouse, located at 4050 Main St. in downtown Riverside. Riverside police officers responded and detained 12 protesters on the courthouse steps. Because courthouse property is the jurisdiction of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, deputies were notified to investigate.
The Sheriff’s Department investigation identified four of those protestors – Castro, Fite, Kelder, and Solares Herrera -- as suspects in the vandalism of the court building with green paint. The cleaning and repainting of the July 30 vandalism cost the county more than $13,000.
Further investigation by the Sheriff’s Department confirmed that three members of the same activism group – Aston, Dinscoy, and Fite – had vandalized the Historic Courthouse three weeks earlier, on Saturday, July 9, 2022. The damage was similar to the July 30 vandalism, with painted green handprints on exterior walls, doors, and pillars of the landmark building. The cleaning and repainting the July 9 damage cost Riverside County more than $4,000.
The case, RIF2204992, is being prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Nikla Olson of the DA’s Felony Prosecution Team.