Prosecutors in Long Beach have filed an additional charge against City Councilman Edd Tuttle, who was arrested Aug. 19 on suspicion of being publicly intoxicated after scuffling with a youth on a city bus, said City Prosecutor John Vander Lans.
Because Tuttle allegedly identified himself as a police officer during the altercation, he now faces the more serious charge of impersonating a public officer. Both charges are misdemeanors. While the intoxication charge usually carries a small fine--guilty defendants usually forfeit the standard $100 bail--the impersonation charge bears a penalty of up to six months in jail and up to $2,500 in fines.
The 38-year-old Tuttle, who has publicly acknowledged having a drinking problem, was to be arraigned Tuesday. But Municipal Court Commissioner Joseph W. Blocker agreed to
postpone arraignment until Friday at the request of the councilman’s lawyer, Charles A. Gangloff. Because the charges are misdemeanors, Tuttle is not required to attend.
According to the report on the incident that was released by Long Beach police, Tuttle boarded the Long Beach Transit bus late on a Monday afternoon and encountered a group of black youths who were allegedly whistling and making remarks to a woman passenger. Tuttle, who is white, responded by shouting racial slurs at the youths, and claiming to be a police officer, according to the report.
Tuttle, the report said, challenged one 17-year-old to fight, spat on him and the two got off the bus. Tuttle shoved the youth, who then kicked the councilman in the groin, the report said. Police officers arrived, ended the dispute and took Tuttle into custody.