An student faces felony charges after reportedly assaulting officers trying to arrest him on Tuesday afternoon for marijuana possession.
Police detectives spotted three young men sitting on stairs at the edge of the EF property on Neperan passing around a marijuana cigarette on Tuesday at 2:15 p.m. When police approached the men to make the arrest, two of the men complied but the third put up a fight and, said Lieutenant William Herguth, “escalated charges against him. He went from a simple marijuana arrest to assault in the second degree.”
Pedro Ortiz, 21, apparently punched and kicked the detectives, who sustained bruises from the blows, said Herguth. While the two other men were discharged with misdemeanor charges of criminal possession of marijuana, Ortiz faces three felony counts of assault along with three other misdemeanor charges: one count of resisting arrest, one count of possession, and one count of sale of a controlled substance.
Herguth explained that by law you don't need to have exchanged money for something to constitute a “sale.” Just the act of Ortiz passing around the joint merited this charge.
Herguth said that Ortiz, roughed up in the police arrest photo, had sustained facial cuts and abrasions already from a previous fight. Though police didn't know exactly what happened in the previous fight, Herguth said that the man “told us after that he resisted arrest because he didn't want to be caught with possession and feared he would be kicked out of the EF program.”
Ortiz could face upwards of a year in prison if convicted, said Herguth. Police believe he comes from Ecuador.