Policeman Indicted, Fired in Assault Case
A veteran San Diego police officer was indicted Thursday on a felony assault charge and fired Friday in connection with an alleged attack on a suspect he had in custody, officials said.
Arturo Velasquez, 30, was charged with assault under color of authority. He could face three years in prison if convicted.
More than 20 witnesses testified before the San Diego County Grand Jury about the alleged assault during the July 26 arrest of Brandon Wilkes, 18, according to the district attorney’s office. Wilkes was arrested in the 2700 block of Worden Street in the Loma Portal area on suspicion of being under the influence of drugs.
Deputy Dist. Atty. John Heisner declined to describe the nature of the alleged assault or the injuries Wilkes suffered.
Velasquez will plead not guilty at an arraignment Monday afternoon, according to his attorney, Dan Krinsky. Heisner said he expects that Velasquez will be released on his own recognizance if he appears as scheduled.
The officer, who was assigned to the Police Department’s western area command, was relegated to office duty after the incident, Heisner said.
But Velasquez was fired after a police hearing Friday, according to police spokesman Bill Robinson.
Officials contacted Friday did not know the disposition of the case against Wilkes.