Ex-Raiders coach is found guilty in Pismo Beach beer-bottle attack

clambert@thetribunenews.comApril 29, 2013 

Randy Hanson, 44, was arrested Saturday, Aug. 4, 2012, on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon. Original story »

A former Oakland Raiders football coach faces up to four years in state prison for striking another man in the face with a beer bottle at a Pismo Beach bar last summer.

On Monday, jurors in Randy Hanson’s assault trial found him guilty of felony battery, though they rejected an enhancement that could have strengthened his punishment at sentencing.

Hanson, who was working as a Cal Poly assistant football coach at the time, was also found guilty of misdemeanor assault — a reduction of a felony charge of assault with a deadly weapon — for hitting James Kelsey, now 52, who suffered a broken nose and concussion in the Aug. 4 incident.

Those charges carry a sentence of up to four years in state prison, according to the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office.

Defense attorney Ilan Funke-Bilu said he would move to reduce the felony battery charge to a misdemeanor at the time of sentencing, which is scheduled for June 10.

Hanson 45, didn’t comment outside the courtroom after the verdict was read, but he appeared upset with the decision.

“He feels so strongly about his innocence,” Funke-Bilu said of Hanson. The attorney added that, while he respects the jury’s verdict, “I think this case at the very worst has always been a misdemeanor.”

Hanson garnered national attention in 2009 after Raiders head coach Tom Cable allegedly threw him off a chair during a coach’s meeting, breaking Hanson's jaw. No criminal charges were filed against Cable.

On Aug. 3, 2012, Cal Poly head coach Tim Walsh asked Hanson, then a defensive coach at the school, to help entertain Mustangs boosters at Mr. Rick's in Avila Beach. The boosters had specifically requested Hanson's company because of his involvement with the Raiders.

According to the District Attorney's Office, Kelsey, a patron there, helped Hanson and the boosters procure a limo and was invited to ride along with the group.

After a stop at Harry's Night Club and Beach Bar in Pismo Beach, Kelsey said, he returned to the limo to find Hanson passed out in the back. When he nudged Hanson in an attempt to make room, Hanson cracked his nose with a bottle.

While Kelsey said the attack was unprovoked, Hanson claimed he acted in self-defense.

Hanson said Kelsey became belligerent toward him, telling him he wasn't a Raider and was a "p---y."

At one point, Hanson said, Kelsey reached into the limo and grabbed his shirt, tearing it. That's when he struck Kelsey with a bottle.

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