Huntington Beach teen stabbing leads to 1-year sentence of ex-police officer

SANTA ANA, Calif. (KABC) -- A former Chicago cop from the city's suburbs and his sister-in-law were sentenced for a 2016 attack on two men in Huntington Beach.

Arthur Edward Roman and sister-in-law Jessica Roman were convicted by a jury for charges of assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury, a felony and a misdemeanor count of battery.

Roman's brother, Martin Mario Roman, pleaded guilty on Aug. 25 to felony assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury with a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a deadly weapon and misdemeanor battery, according to court records. He was placed on three years of formal probation and ordered to participate in a program overseen by a special court for veterans.

Jessica Roman and Arthur Roman will both be placed on informal probation for three years. Jessica Roman could serve 90 days in jail but is eligible for home confinement. Arthur Roman will serve a year.

The sentence was for their part in a fight in Huntington Beach that led to the stabbing of 17-year-old Karam Aljarrah.

Arthur was a police officer in the Chicago suburb of Oak Forest at the time.
"Is it what we expected? I don't know if you ever get what you truly expect in life," said Stephen Miller, who once represented all three Romans, but only Jessica Roman at the time of sentencing. "We certainly accept what the court did."

The attack happened about 4:15 p.m. on Feb. 28, 2016, as Karam Aljarrah and Aseem Dghem were walking down Third Street in Huntington Beach.

At a preliminary hearing for the three accused in the attack, Huntington Beach Officer Eric Esparza testified that Arthur Roman started the conflict when he insulted a "straw hat'' that one of the victims was wearing as "stupid." An argument broke out that escalated into a fight when officers say Martin Roman stabbed Aljarrah.

"Judge King made it very clear today that what happened back on Feb. 28th was truly out of character for the defendants," said Miller.
During the sentencing hearing, dozens of the Romans' family members showed their support, several of them speaking about the character of Jessica Roman and Arthur Roman.

"It was an extraordinary outpouring of support and love," said Miller.

Arthur Roman also addressed the court, apologizing for his actions and expressing remorse for the injury he caused the victims, who were not in the courtroom.

"I apologize not only for your physical injuries, as well as any loss in your sense of security or loss of trust," Arthur Roman said. "I not only apologize to you, I apologize to your families."
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