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San Diego

A felony assault charge was dismissed Wednesday against a former San Diego police officer charged with kicking a handcuffed 18-year-old in the face after his arrest.

San Diego Superior Court Judge Richard Huffman dismissed the charge of assault under color of authority against Arthur Velasquez, 30, on the recommendation of Deputy Dist. Atty. Allan Preckel.

A jury deadlocked, 6-6, last month and a judge declared a mistrial after jurors said they couldn’t reach a verdict. The hearing Wednesday was to set a new trial date.

Preckel urged the dismissal, saying: “The result is not likely to be different at retrial.”

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Brandon Wilkes testified that Velasquez assaulted him July 26, 1985, at a Loma Portal apartment complex after he was arrested on suspicion of disturbing the peace and being under the influence of PCP. The lab results later showed no PCP.

Velasquez was indicted Sept. 27 by the grand jury that heard 21 witnesses, including people who saw the incident. He was later fired by San Diego police, but might be reinstated now because of the charge was dismissed, his attorney, Dan Krinsky, said.

Wilkes, who is 19, testified that he passed out when he was hit in the face.


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