Police officer charged with battery

Crime, Law and JusticeJustice SystemAssaultMatt DoyleCrime

GLENDALE — A Glendale police officer has been put on administrative leave after prosecutors charged him in an alleged off-duty road rage incident in Burbank.

The Burbank city attorney's office filed the misdemeanor battery charge Dec. 10 against Glendale Police Officer Eric Ritter, who pleaded not guilty to striking Armando Alvarez, according to Los Angeles County Superior Court documents.

When Glendale city administrators found out about the charges, they placed the officer on leave, said Human Resources Director Matt Doyle.

He declined to comment further on the case, sayit it was a personnel matter.

Calls to Ritter's attorney, Michael Severo, went unreturned on Wednesday.

The alleged road rage incident occurred about noon on Oct. 14. Ritter and Alvarez had been cutting each other off on city streets, Burbank Police Sgt. Robert Quesada said.

At a red light on Hollywood Way and Victory Boulevard, the men exited their vehicles and got into a scuffle, Quesada said.

A witness flagged down a Burbank police traffic officer who was citing another motorist and told him about the fight, Quesada said.

After the officer responded and stopped the brawl, he discovered Ritter was an off-duty Glendale police officer, Quesada said. At that point, a Glendale police supervisor was called to the scene, he added.

Glendale police officials declined to comment on the case.

Alvarez, who sustained a cut inside his lip, told officers at the scene that he didn't want to press charges, Quesada said, adding that Ritter also declined to pursue any charges related to the incident.

The Burbank city attorney's office declined to comment on the case and decision to file charges, city spokesman Keith Sterling said.

Ritter has been ordered to stay at least 100 yards away from Alvarez, according to court documents.

Ritter is expected to appear Jan. 5 in a Los Angeles County Superior Courtroom in Burbank for a pretrial hearing.

FOR THE RECORD: This version corrects a misspelling of Alvarez's last name.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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