Hicham Ajjaid, 25, and Mehdi Ajjaid, 21, each face a felony burglary of a building-intent of theft charge and a misdemeanor criminal-mischief $50 to $500 charge, says Allison Cook, a criminal assignments clerk in the Bexar County District Clerk’s Office. They’re each being held in the Bexar County jail on a $25,000 bond, awaiting a Nov. 23 hearing in the 187th District Court in San Antonio, she says.
Thomas Hille, the court-appointed lawyer for Hicham Ajjaid, says, “I don’t think they are guilty in what they are charged with. [Hicham Ajjaid] didn’t steal anything. He didn’t have intentions to steal anything.”
Hille notes he hasn’t seen evidence his client damaged any property, either, and adds, “I think it’s just a big misunderstanding. They chose the wrong building at the wrong time. They are innocent, in my opinion.”
The two defendants and three others came from France to the United States and rented a recreational vehicle, because they “wanted to see America,” said Bexar County Deputy Chief Sheriff Dale Bennett on Wednesday. Bexar County spokeswoman Laura Jesse said Wednesday that two men entered the courthouse, and police later found three others outside. Bennett said the suspects in the courthouse were “running around the hallway with a couple of sombreros on their heads.”
“What it seems to be is they just had a few beers on the River Walk and things got out of control,” Bennett said.
Cliff Herberg (pictured), first assistant district attorney in the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office, says his office asked the court to set bonds of $500,000 for Hicham Ajjaid and Mehdi Ajjaid.
“We requested high bonds because, obviously, as foreign nationals, they present a flight risk,” Herberg says. He notes he hopes the incident turns out to be “very minor,” but instead of assuming it’s a “prank,” he wants sheriffs to search the RV and computers and cell phones inside the RV.
Herberg says his office sought to charge the three other travelers with burglary, but Magistrate Judge Molly Cavazos on Thursday rejected those charges. Herberg says those three men “were being held on suspicion they were acting together” with Hicham Ajjaid and Mehdi Ajjaid. They have been released, Herberg notes.
Dayna Jones, the court-appointed lawyer for Mehdi, didn’t immediately return a telephone call seeking comment.
-- Angela Morris