FCC professor describes student's alleged kidnapping attempt and assault

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A Fresno City College professor testified Monday about a former student accused of kidnapping and assaulting her with a gun.

Escalating December 2020 incidents left voice teacher Hanna York in fear for her life.

The first time York saw Rodolfo Brambila show up at her house uninvited, she was locked inside and he eventually went away.

She'd recently reported the now-former student to her superiors at Fresno City College for inappropriate, aggressive behavior - mostly in written communication.

York says his aggression peaked when he came back to her house a week later and surprised her in the backyard.

"I can't remember at what moment I saw the gun, but I saw it very quickly," York said. "I couldn't believe this was happening."

"Were you scared?" asked prosecutor Alex Guillermo.

"Yes," she said. "I was shocked."

York says she thought Brambila was going to shoot her, so she grappled with him.

"I reached up towards his face and clawed at his face," she said. "I also tried to claw at his groin with my right hand."

She says Brambila eventually pinned her to the ground, which is where her husband found them after hearing her screams.

"He's on top of her," said Daniel York. "She's on the ground and as I step through, he points the gun at me."

Mr. York got his kids to a safer spot, then gathered some neighbors to help and called police.

Officers arrested Brambila without further incident.

During his preliminary hearing, Brambila's defense attorney looked for evidence his client acted spontaneously without premeditation.

And he hinted at possible mental health struggles.

"Would it be fair to say you felt some empathy towards him because he came across as someone who was emotionally tormented?" defense attorney Robert Angres asked Hanna York.

"I don't know if he came across that way, sir," she said.

Investigators said Brambila wore homemade body armor and brought a backpack with several items, including zip ties and twine.

A judge decided there's enough evidence for Brambila to stand trial for seven felony charges, including kidnapping and assault with a firearm.

He faces more than 20 years in prison if convicted on all counts.

He rejected a plea deal before the hearing which would've resulted in a shorter sentence.
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