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Judge Sends Bal Theatre Owner Dan Dillman To Jail

Sentenced to 4 months behind bars in connection with 2010 confrontation with Sheriff's Department investigators.


Bal Theatre owner Dan Dillman was taken to jail Monday after a Superior Court judge sentenced him to 120 days behind bars for for confronting two Alameda County Sheriff's Department investigators in an incident that occurred about 18 months ago.

Dillman's family was trying to arrange $15,000 bail Tuesday to get him out of the county lockup at Santa Rita so he could arrange to keep his movie and computer repair businesses running when he returns to jail to serve out his four-month term.

"I'm heartbroken," said his friend, San Leandro businessman Chris Crow. "This is a first offense with no priors, and a misdemeanor. There are repeat offenders who've committed felonies who've gotten less."

Crow said Assistant District Attorney Scott Ford, who prosecuted Dillman, asked for a six-month sentence, arguing that the Bal Theatre owner had slandered the two sheriff's department investigators involved in the incident.

Superior Court Judge Michael Gaffey instead ordered Dillman to serve four months in jail. The theatre owner also face three years on probation.

Dillman was taken straight to jail after Monday's sentencing hearing at the Hayward Hall of Justice.

Dillman said in court that he would appeal.

Judge Gaffey could not be reached Tuesday to discuss the sentence.

The district attorney's office has not responded to a request for a reaction.

Sheriff's department spokesman Sgt. J.D. Nelson said the judge listens to the trial from start to finish, adding that "if he thought that was the appropriate sentence, it's all right with us."

Gaffey was a career district attorney before then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed him to the Superior Court in 2005. Gaffey is up for election this year but is unopposed and so his name will not appear on the ballot and he will be confirmed automatically.

, jurors heard two differing versions of what happened on October 12, 2010, when two sheriff's department investigators came to the Bal Theatre to question a contractor who was working there.

Dillman said the investigators failed to properly identify themselves and beat him up. The investigators, Sheriff's Department Sgt. Michael D. Carroll and Detective Terrence H. Montigue, said Dillman verbally assaulted them and interferred with their work.

The jury found Dillman guilty.

In a separate action, Dillman has filed a against Alameda County in federal court, alledging that he was falsely arrested.

Dillman is an outspoken character who has with city officials over issues including what sort of entertainment he can offer at the Bal.

On Tuesday, his eldest child, Derrick Dillman, 19, was running the Bal while his mother, Gina Dillman, and siblings, Joshua and Tianna, were trying to get Dan out of jail.

"Whatever happens we plan on running the theatre," Derrick Dillman said.

This story will be updated if additional details or reactions become available.

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Marga Lacabe May 03, 2012 at 08:43 PM
Ajazzie, I don't think you know just how ridiculous your comment is. Dan has been in conflict with the city because he's hosted - and wants to continue hosting - live events that feature African-American performers and his neighbors have a problem with "the element" that these shows attract. There is a reason why AFrican American students had Dan be their keynote speaker at last year's African American Achievement night.
Sergio Chaves May 05, 2012 at 05:22 AM
I can't say that I've followed the case in detail but here's my two cents. I'm not surprised by the behavior of the deputies. About two years ago I attended the ACSO Citizen Academy and I found many of the deputies to be arrogant, self-righteous and condescending. Also, the sheriff’s department provides security for the court house and they know all the judges and DA; so how could this system be fair and impartial? This is a case of “the fox guarding the hen house.” When you deal with law enforcement, you are dealing with a system that created the rules and controls the telling of events. Having worked alongside police officers there is one thing I’ve learned; many are untrustworthy and they control whatever version of the truth they want to portray to the courtroom. Lastly, if he is found guilty, why waste tax payer money jailing Dan? With all the financial disarray the county is experiencing, why didn’t they just fine Dan and leave it at that.
Bob Vincent May 08, 2012 at 11:23 PM
The Police Department needs to get Dan out of Jail. Tell Stephen Cassidy to get out of the court room and and get Dan out of jail. Dan is probably the top 2 or 3 smartest" high end" people that live in San Leandro. . I was working with Dan to get the San Leandro website able to show streaming videos of the Council Meetings. I talked to Stephen about Dan helping to make this cost effective like for nothing. Stephen told me that we can't use him only his knowlege. What a waste of time for the city and his life and family. The Police and City Politicians need him. I consider him a hero. He doesn't take crap in front of his business or fort. How many people own a Fort? The Bal Theatre is the strongest building in San Leandro... .And guess who owns it?. Get your hands out of your pockets and get to work. Get him out now. Not tomorrow, now. OK.... Make him wear a stupid ankle brace, Whatever. This is the first time I've been deeply upset with the City and the Politics. If I was not working so much I would be chasing down Stephen Cassidy and convince him to step up to the plate to pull Dan out of jail. Both Cassidy and Dillman are my heroes.
DD May 29, 2012 at 06:51 PM
Dan Dillman is a good man who supports the local economy and I support him. Leave it to San Leandro police to let kids shoot each other on E 14th but then harass a local business owner who has brought life back to the historic bal theater. He and his wife have been running small business in San Leandro for 15 + years and service some of the highest profile clients in the bay area. I would be confrontational if police busted in my establishment looking for someone and roughing people up with out a proper explanation. If it has been proven that Mr. Dillman violated law, a fine would be acceptable. There is no reason to waste my tax dollars to incarcerate a well respected businessman over some confrontation that none of us was there to see. Dan is under God's direction and will gladly accept the consequences of his actions, but please do not waste our time and money harassing someone who supports San Leandro when you could be arresting this little thugs making the area unsafe with drugs and guns. God bless Mr. Dillman and his family. I will continue to support his theater and his computer business. The Dillmans are a great family and a friend of San Leandro. Anyone who has done business with Dan trusts and relies on him. Including the government and police organizations. Everyone support your local small business!
Ken Briggs June 13, 2014 at 08:35 AM
Yes ,Dan Dillman and any one else has the right to know who the hell is in the building . the cowboy cops should of said who they were . Hope Dan gets out and run his busness .


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