BANNING – A felon who attacked a Hemet police officer, grabbing and using the lawman’s badge as a weapon, pleaded guilty Tuesday, March 7, to resisting arrest and was immediately sentenced to 10 months in jail and three
Gerald Owen Peachie, 46, admitted the misdemeanor count under a plea agreement with the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office. In exchange for his admission, prosecutors dropped felony charges against Peachie of assault on a peace officer and battery on a peace officer.
The plea deal, which was reached just as a preliminary hearing was slated to get underway to determine whether the defendant should stand trial, was certified by Superior Court Judge Mark Johnson, who imposed the sentence stipulated by the prosecution and defense.
According to Hemet police, on the morning of Sept. 8, 2016, Peachie was contacted by the patrolman, who was not identified, in the 2100 block of Florida Avenue after the defendant harassed members of a gas station cleaning crew, prompting one of them to call 911.
Lt. Eric Dickson said that Peachie left the business before the officer arrived, but as the officer rolled up, the 911 caller pointed out the transient in a wheelchair across the street.
Dickson said the patrolman approached and attempted to speak with Peachie, who “suddenly jumped out of the wheelchair and attacked the officer.”
“The officer and Peachie fell to the ground, and during the altercation, Peachie pulled the officer’s badge off his uniform and grasped it so that the approximately three-inch steel pin portion of the badge was positioned between his knuckles,” the lieutenant said.
He alleged that Peachie swung at the officer several times, but the officer was able to dodge the swipes and deployed his baton, ordering Peachie to drop the badge and surrender, ultimately gaining his compliance.
Neither the officer nor Peachie was injured, Dickson said.
According to court records, the defendant has a prior felony conviction for grand theft, as well as misdemeanor convictions for battery and resisting arrest.