A man violated a restraining order by trying to get into his wife’s apartment in Imperial Beach, punched a sheriff’s deputy who responded to a 911 call, then broke into two nearby units and assaulted two other deputies, a prosecutor alleged Monday.
Deputy District Attorney Brian Erickson told a jury that 32-year-old Richard Alan Perez was heard arguing with his wife about 6:40 a.m. on June 21, 2013.
A woman heard the argument and a baby crying and called 911, according to the prosecutor, who said a deputy who arrived on the scene on 14th Street had Perez sit on a curb and asked him what was going on.
After the deputy noticed a woman looking out a window, Perez got up and punched the officer to the ground, the prosecutor alleged. Erickson said the defendant ran off, ending up in a shed in the backyard of a nearby home.
When confronted in the shed, the defendant threatened the homeowner and ran off again, breaking into an apartment and frightening a woman with four children, Erickson alleged.
Perez asked about knives and stayed in that apartment for about a half- hour before being pushed out by the woman’s husband, the prosecutor said.
Erickson said Perez then barged into a second-story apartment and asked the resident for a pen and paper so he could write a letter of apology to his 4- year-old daughter.
The resident was able to escape and Perez barricaded himself in a bedroom, telling officers he didn’t want to come out because he had punched a deputy, according to Erickson.
Perez threatened to shoot police dogs or officers if they stormed the house, then threw rocks, pictures, a vacuum cleaner and drawers out of the window at two deputies, Erickson said.
After about four hours, Perez came out and was arrested. After he was taken into custody, the defendant called for the deputy he punched and apologized for hitting him, Erickson said.
At the time, Perez had been out of custody on bail for allegedly choking his wife three or four months earlier.
The prosecutor asked jurors to find Perez guilty of burglary, assault on a peace officer with force, violating a restraining order, resisting arrest and assault on the two deputies.
Deputy Public Defender Euketa Oliver told the jury that the case was about the fear Perez had after he punched the deputy.
“He knew when he did that, he had a reason to be fearful,” Oliver said of her client. “He didn’t want police to find him.”
Oliver said Perez ran into homes because he was scared and afraid.
She said the defendant couldn’t see out when he started throwing things out the bedroom window.
Oliver urged the jury to acquit Perez on burglary and the assault charges involving the two sheriff’s deputies crouched down outside the bedroom window.
The defendant — who has prior convictions for making a criminal threat and assault — faces 50 years to life in prison if convicted.
—City News Service
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