Man accused of racial attack has seizure in court |

Man accused of racial attack has seizure in court

Adam Jensen

An apparent seizure delayed the preliminary hearing on Monday of a South Lake Tahoe couple. They’re accused of a racially motivated attack in July at El Dorado Beach.

Joseph and Georgia Silva face felony assault charges with a hate crime enhancement, stemming from a July incident during which the couple allegedly attacked and spat on a 37-year-old man of East Indian descent and called him derogatory names.

Georgia Silva is also charged with two misdemeanor counts of using force or threats to interfere with another’s civil rights.

Joseph Silva’s right arm began shaking about 10 minutes into South Lake Tahoe Police Officer Rhett Gann’s testimony about the circumstances he encountered at the scene.

The tremors appeared to spread to the rest of Silva’s body as he stood up and exclaimed “oh sh**.”

Silva was braced by an El Dorado County sheriff’s officer, who helped him to the ground, at which point Judge Suzanne Kingsbury ordered members of the audience to leave the room.

Emergency personnel from the South Lake Tahoe Fire Department were on the scene within minutes and Silva was escorted from the court house on a stretcher shortly after their arrival.

Although his right arm was still shaking and he had been fitted with breathing tubes in his nose, Joseph Silva was alert while being taken from the building.

“I had one nine, 10 months ago,” he was overheard saying as emergency responders wheeled him into the elevator.

Silva was admitted to the emergency room at Barton Memorial Hospital on Monday. His condition was unknown as of press time.

The South Lake Tahoe resident had walked into the hearing on Monday using a crutch under his right arm.

Elizabeth Grossman, attorney for the Silvas, hinted at her client’s pre-existing medical conditions after Joseph Silva was taken to the hospital, but declined to elaborate on Monday.

When court reconvened, Kingsbury rescheduled the case’s preliminary hearing for Dec. 14.

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