Lemon Grove

A former sheriff's deputy who pleaded guilty to three misdemeanor charges stemming from a drunken altercation with fellow deputies was sentenced Wednesday to three years of probation.

Jose Raimundo Huizar, 28, pleaded guilty March 27 to charges of battery, driving with a blood alcohol level of more than .08%, and exhibiting a firearm in the presence of a peace officer.

Huizar was arrested during the early morning of Nov. 6 when deputies stopped his car in Spring Valley. Deputies had twice responded to calls complaining about Huizar's behavior at the Nite Life East, a Lemon Grove bar frequented by off-duty deputies.

After he was stopped, Huizar pulled his .45-caliber handgun. He also pushed a deputy and then spit on him.

However, it was a letter from that deputy, Kevin McQuillen, that helped dissuade Superior Court Judge Thomas Whelan from sentencing Huizar to custody.

Noting that Huizar had lost his job, McQuillen wrote, "I think he's paid tenfold . . . he's been publicly humiliated."

Whelan said Huizar's behavior was "clearly reprehensible, but it appears to be isolated."

Huizar was also fined $939 and ordered to perform 15 days of public service.

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