Sacto 9-1-1
February 14, 2012
Defendant pleads no contest in videotaped assault on woman

One of two men arrested last year in the videotaped assault on a mentally ill woman outside a south Sacramento doughnut shop has pleaded no contest in the case.

Rasaan Ali Zawadi Jr., 21, entered his plea last Thursday on the date of his scheduled preliminary hearing.

A second suspect, Donnell Damone Wade, 19, remains in custody in lieu of $100,000 bail. Wade's preliminary hearing is scheduled for this Thursday.

The video was apparently filmed Oct. 1 by friends of Zawadi and Wade. It went viral a couple weeks later when it was posted on a hip-hop website.

The film depicts a man Sacramento police identified as Zawadi laughing while the camera shows the woman walking slowly back and forth in front of Eric's Donuts, which authorities have described as a some-time gang hangout on Mack Road at Center Parkway.

Zawadi is then shown slapping the woman once before running away while she gave chase.

The camera then picks up a man authorities identified as the 5-foot-9, 216-pound Wade, who hauls off with a left hook and knocks the woman to the pavement.

Zawadi entered his plea to a single count of felony assault. He is scheduled to be sentenced March 1 by Sacramento Superior Court Judge Kevin J. McCormick.

Under the terms of his plea deal, Zawadi is expected to be sentenced to time served for the four months he spent in jail since his Oct. 13 arrest, plus 60 more days of electronic monitoring.

Assistant Public Defender Amy Rogers described her client as developmentally disabled as a result of two traumatic brain injuries he had suffered.

"Given his special disability issues, we've worked out a deal for him that will ensure or assist him in getting on the right track, with help from the probation department and the Alta Regional Center," Rogers said.

Regional centers throughout the state provide a variety of services to developmentally disabled clients and their families.

Zawadi's plea agreement maintains that he must keep a five-mile radius away from Eric's Donuts. Prosecutors initially charged Zawadi with an enhancement that he carried out the assault for the benefit of the Starz and Valley Hi Piru street gangs. The enhancement was dismissed as part of Zawadi's plea deal.

Deputy District Attorney Leslie Kolb said "a huge part of the resolution" was to separate Zawadi from gang influences in the area "and get him to Alta."

The woman who was assaulted in the video suffered no long-term injuries and is "doing as well as she was before," Kolb said. She has since been relocated "to a more secure housing situation than before this happened," the prosecutor said.

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