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Suspect in assault on elderly man requests to represent self

Bogdanoff’s father relates son’s history of mental illness
By: Krissi Khokhobashvili, Placer Herald and Press Tribune editor
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The man held for allegedly beating an 84-year-old man appeared in court Wednesday, where he requested to represent himself.

“I feel that my case is so strong, my argument is so strong, that I don’t require a lawyer,” said Rocklin resident Zubin Bogdanoff, 33.

Rocklin Police reported that Bogdanoff allegedly followed 84-year-old Eugene Royer to his Roseville home Nov. 10, where an assault occurred in the victim’s garage.

“The defendant followed him home because he felt the victim was driving too slow,” Bill Marchi of the District Attorney’s Office said at Bogdanoff’s arraignment. Royer was driving 20 mph, Marchi added.

At the time of the incident, Royer was driving on the 6000 block of Bridal Veil Drive, a residential area, according to the Rocklin Police Department report.

Royer suffered significant injuries and was taken to the hospital, according to the Rocklin police report. Marchi said Royer is in critical condition and suffers from pressure on his brain that will have to be relieved.

A neighbor who tried to intervene was also injured, police said. And as Bogdanoff drove off, he is alleged to have tried to run over a witness who was calling the police, the report said.

After Bogdanoff told Judge Frances Kearney, “I don’t understand why I’m here,” she went over the 10 counts against him in two cases, including inflicting injury on an elderly adult, assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury, residential burglary for entering Royer’s home, assault with personal use of a deadly weapon (his vehicle), another assault charge, vandalism, disturbing the peace by fighting and two battery misdemeanor charges.

Bogdanoff was also cited earlier on a petty theft charge and released on a promise to appear after a disturbance Nov. 7 inside a Roseville supermarket.

Roseville Police Sgt. Jason Bosworth said Monday that officers responded to an initial report of an irate customer in the Foothills Boulevard Save-Mart store. An employee reported being in a physical fight with the subject, who was twice as big as him, Bosworth said.

The employee was attempting to detain Bogdanoff on suspicion of shoplifting, Bosworth said, citing the police report.

In addition to his arraignment Wednesday, Bogdanoff had a court date in Roseville the same morning regarding a restraining order filed by Valeri Kennedy-Stewart, a property manager at the Rocklin apartment complex where Bogdanoff lives. Since Bogdanoff could not appear, Judge John Cosgrove moved the date back to Dec. 10.

Kennedy-Stewart explained that she sought a temporary restraining order against Bogdanoff following a series of harassments at the complex. The most recent one, she said, was when he attempted to break down the door to her office.

“I was in the office with a resident, and we were just looking at each other like, ‘I hope he doesn’t break that door down,’” she said.

The reason Bogdanoff was upset, Kennedy-Stewart believes, is that he was being evicted from his apartment due to harassment of managers and neighbors. She related that he would make children who were playing in the complex’s grassy areas leave, and that he had followed her around the property, making her uncomfortable. Since she requested the restraining order, she said, several former property managers have come forward with similar complaints.

She said she is well aware of the “road rage” incident over the weekend.

“The day that it happened, he had approached my car at work and I just drove away,” she said, adding, “I hope that didn’t anger him to make him go off and do something stupid like that.”

Bogdanoff’s father, Gregory Bogdanoff of Walnut Creek, said his son has suffered from bipolar disorder all his life, and said his reaction to the news of Saturday’s incident was “horror, of course. He has never been violent. He has been angry, but not violent.”

Gregory Bogdanoff said it’s hard to describe his son, as bipolar people “have moods and they go through cycles … sometimes he’s very nice and easygoing. And other times he’s agitated.”

When Bogdanoff requested to represent himself, Kearney pointed out the long list of charges against him, along with restraining orders filed by five of his alleged victims. She added that Bogdanoff is not an attorney, and that it is almost always unwise to represent oneself against an experienced prosecutor.

“Obviously, you’re in some trouble here,” Kearney told the heavily guarded Bogdanoff. “You’ve got about six bailiffs standing around here.”

Bogdanoff asked if his father could represent him, which Kearney denied, as he is not an attorney.

“He has a lifelong history of bipolar, a mental problem,” Gregory Bogdanoff said. “He has difficulty processing thoughts. He has had treatment before. I don’t think he is competent, certainly, to defend himself. I would suggest that he be evaluated for his competency.”

Kearney said that at this point the court cannot find that Bogdanoff is able to represent himself, and said a public defender will be appointed to represent him.

Bogdanoff’s bail is set at a total of $280,000. He will next appear at 1 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16, in the North Auburn jail courtroom.

When Bogdanoff asked if he could get out of jail, Kearney responded “no.”

“Why not?” he asked.

“Because I said no,” she replied.