Hanford, CA – A judge has announced that the Lemoore city councilwoman who attempted to run over police and community members in June is not mentally competent to stand trial.
Now-former Lemoore City Councilwoman Holly Blair has been charged with multiple felonies in connection with the attack, as well as the police chase that followed, The Hanford Sentinel reported.
The incident occurred at approximately 2:15 p.m. on June 5, as community members and Lemoore police officers were gathering in the police department parking in honor of fallen Lemoore Police Corporal Jonathan Giles.
Cpl. Giles’ widow, Crystal Giles, told Blue Lives Matter that she and her nine-year-old daughter were among those who came to help kick off the Lemoore Police Chaplain’s cross-country motorcycle trip promoting mental health awareness.
The first leg of the trip – from the Lemoore Police Department to the Hanford Police Department – was dedicated to the memory of Cpl. Giles, who took his own life on Nov. 7, 2018.
Just seconds after she and her children finished posing for a picture with some officers behind police headquarters, Blair, who was still a city councilwoman at the time, suddenly tore into the lot in her 2008 Honda Pilot at a high rate of speed, nearly hitting several people.
“Blair came barreling through the driveway – like she came out of freakin’ nowhere – and there was an officer in his car. She went straight for him and he had to swerve to miss her,” Crystal Giles described the harrowing moment.
“I pushed my four-year-old ahead of me and reached back to grab Riley,” she recalled. “She only missed hitting Riley by inches.”
“My first thought when I turned around was ‘Oh my God, she’s gonna get hit,’” Crystal Giles told Blue Lives Matter.
Police to screamed at her to stop, but she ignored them, The Hanford Sentinel reported.
With her young son and dog in tow, Blair continued to speed through the lot, then turned around in the parking area and accelerated again.
Crystal Giles said that a King’s County sheriff’s deputy almost got run over and actually fell to ground as the city councilwoman pulled out of the police department’s parking lot.
“All the cops jumped in their cars and motorcycles and went after her,” she told Blue Lives Matter. “It happened so fast that I was like ‘what is going on?’ I turned to my family and I was like ‘what in the world just happened?’”
Police immediately began chasing the crazed councilwoman as she flew down West Cinnamon Drive, barreling through stop signs, The Hanford Sentinel reported.
Blair ended up stuck in traffic in a left-turn lane, which gave officers the time they needed to block her vehicle in, Lemoore City Manager Nathan Olson told KSEE.
She then refused to comply with officers’ orders to get out of the vehicle, Olson said.
Crystal Giles told Blue Lives Matter she knew who the driver was at first glance – a notorious cop-hating member of city council who had been at war with the police department and city council for more than a year.
“When Holly blew through the parking lot, I saw exactly who it was,” Crystal Giles said. “She had her hair up in a messy bun and a grey shirt on. I knew exactly who it was.”
“If she had come into the parking lot 10 or 15 seconds earlier, I think we all would have been hit,” she told Blue Lives Matter. “For sure, my children and I would have been run over. She had no remorse for anybody who was in her path.”
Crystal Giles said her daughter was traumatized by the incident and keeps asking her why Blair wanted to run her over.
She said Riley, acutely aware of her own police officer father’s recent death, also asked if Blair was there to hurt the police officers who were with them in the parking lot.
The procession honoring Cpl. Giles did not happen on June 5 because everybody participating in the event had to respond to the Blair incident.
Cpl. Giles, who served as a U.S. Marine with the 2/4 Magnificent Bastards from 2006 to 2010, was a popular police officer known throughout the Lemoore community as the “Dancing Cop,” due to his habit of breaking out in dance whilst directing traffic, according KMPH.
He joined the Lemoore police in 2013 and became a member of the King County SWAT Team in 2016, a lifelong goal, according to Crystal Giles.
Cpl. Giles is survived by his wife Crystal, his son Talon, and his daughters, Riley and Laila.
Blair was ultimately placed under arrest for a slew of charges, including resisting arrest, evading a peace officer, reckless driving, two counts of child endangerment, and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, The Hanford Sentinel reported.
She spent just one night in jail before being released on $195,000 bail, KSEE reported.
But Blair was back in jail by July, after being arrested on suspicion of attempted criminal threats, domestic battery, violation of a protective order, and dissuading a witness, The San Joaquin Valley Sun reported.
The victim, Blair’s husband, called her behaviors “completely out of character,” KFSN reported.
“We contacted the victim in the front yard who stated the suspect, Holly Blair threatened to kill [him],” Lemoore Police Sergeant J.P. Henderson told the news outlet. “After further investigation, it was determined the victim was punched in the back of the head by Holly Blair.”
Crystal Giles told Blue Lives Matter that Blair is very open and public about the fact “she hates cops.”
“It’s all over her Facebook page, which is wide open. I’d heard stories from Jon and read the antics online, but when we went to a city council meeting where my husband was honored in a speech, I saw it. She sat there and rolled her eyes while they were talking about Jon,” Crystal Giles described, sounding disgusted.
“She needs to face the consequences of what she did,” she said.
Crystal Giles said that the councilwoman has been unpredictable and out of control in public on more than one occasion, and pointed to an incident that occurred at a local Starbucks.
Citizens upset with Blair’s behavior had initiated a recall movement and were collecting signatures to put the recall on the ballot in October of 2018 when Blair encountered them in the busy coffee shop, according to The Leader.
She approached a woman wearing a t-shirt advocating her recall and called the woman “racist as f–k.”
“I am not a racist f–k,” Tammy Alaniz replied, The Leader reported.
“I did not say you were a racist f–k, I said you were racist as f–k but if you would like to call yourself a f–k, by all means, go right ahead,” Blair told Alaniz loudly in the busy Starbucks.
Alaniz called the councilwoman’s behavior “vile, classless, and inappropriate,” and filed a complaint with the city council, according to The Leader.
Blair was removed from the Lemoore City Council on July 16, after she was found to have violated the council’s rules by missing five consecutive meetings, The San Joaquin Valley Sun reported.
On Wednesday, Kings County Superior Court Judge Randy Edwards announced that a psychiatrist has determined Blair is not mentally capable to stand trial, according to The Hanford Sentinel.
Edwards ordered Kings County Jail personnel to administer Blair’s prescribed anti-psychotic medication – even if she refuses to take it – and tasked a community program director with determining whether the former councilwoman will be placed in inpatient or outpatient mental health treatment.
Blair must also meet with a neurologist to ensure that she is not suffering from any physical conditions – such as a brain tumor – that might have contributed to her behaviors, The Hanford Sentinel reported.
Assistant District Attorney Phil Esbenshade said that the criminal proceedings against the former councilwoman will be suspended until she is found competent to stand trial.
The community program director’s report will be heard during Blair’s next court date, which is scheduled for Oct. 29, The Hanford Sentinel reported.
In 2018, a recall effort was launched due to Blair’s conduct in city council meetings, complaints about negative interactions with residents, and allegations of inappropriate behavior on social media, KSEE reported.
That effort failed.
Back in January, the city council attempted to get a temporary restraining order against her, but the request was denied.