Judge Faults Besieged Officer

TIMES STAFF WRITER

A Huntington Beach police officer involved in a fatal shooting last month that sparked protests outside City Hall was faulted this week by a federal judge for making a false arrest in 1998.

U.S. District Judge Margaret M. Morrow ruled that Officer Mark Wersching went too far when he arrested Edward Resek for loudly criticizing officers conducting a traffic stop in downtown Huntington Beach.

Attorneys for the city had argued that Wersching acted because he feared Resek was inciting a crowd that was gathering to watch the traffic stop.

Wersching, 26, shot and killed an 18-year-old farm worker on May 5 in the city's Oakwood neighborhood. Police said the officer opened fire after the teenager pointed a toy rifle at him.

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