Department Clarifies Status of Officer Charged in Assault

A spokesman for the San Diego Police Department erred Friday when he said that veteran police officer Arturo Velasquez had been fired in connection with an alleged kicking attack on a suspect he had arrested.

Velasquez, 30, who has been charged with assault under color of authority, is currently working a desk job within the department pending an administrative appeal, police said Saturday.

Based on information provided by department spokesman Bill Robinson, The Times reported in Saturday’s editions that Velasquez had been fired after a police hearing Friday. In fact, the department has recommended that he be fired, but the decision is being reviewed by Assistant Chief Don Davis, according to Lt. William Skinner.

More than 20 witnesses testified before the county grand jury about the alleged assault during the July 26 arrest of Brandon Wilkes, 18, who was arrested on suspicion of being under the influence of drugs.