A probationer accused of wrestling a deputy’s baton away from him and threatening to strike him with it was charged Friday with assault on a peace officer.
Ernesto Perez, 30, was arrested Tuesday night following a confrontation near the intersection of Hillside Avenue and Sixth Street in Norco, according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.
Along with the assault count, Perez is charged with resisting arrest. He appeared this afternoon before Superior Court Judge Becky Dugan, who appointed him a public defender before arraigning him on the two felonies, to which the defendant pleaded not guilty.
Dugan set Perez’s bail at $30,000. He’s being held in the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside.
Sheriff’s Sgt. Mike Portillo said a deputy was patrolling Hillside Avenue around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday when he spotted Perez, who was “intoxicated to the point where he was unable to care for himself.”
The deputy approached Perez, intending to arrest him for public drunkenness, according to Portillo.
“While attempting to take Perez into custody, Perez fought the deputy,” Portillo said. “During the struggle, Perez was able to remove the deputy’s baton, and at one point during the fight, threatened to kill the deputy.”
Portillo said the patrolman managed to wrestle the weapon away from Perez, who lost his grip, sending the baton flying across the street.
Bystanders grabbed the baton and held it until the lawman received assistance from backup deputies, who took Perez into custody without further incident.
Both the deputy and Perez suffered minor injuries in the scuffle and were treated at a hospital.
According to court records, Perez has prior misdemeanor convictions for obstructing a peace officer and public intoxication.