Deputies accused of assault

Winton is a Times staff writer.

Two Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies face assault charges for allegedly beating up a firefighter while off duty last year in Pomona, according to a grand jury indictment unsealed Tuesday.

Joshua Titel and Brian Richards, both 31, pleaded not guilty in L.A. County Superior Court and were released without bail. According to prosecutors, the two deputies beat and kicked the victim on June 24, 2007. The firefighter, Stephen Paige, underwent several weeks of medical treatment before he returned to work, said Sandi Gibbons, a spokeswoman for the L.A. County district attorney’s office.

The fight took place outside a private residence in Pomona after an altercation between the two off-duty deputies and the victim, authorities said. It is unclear what prompted the dispute.


If convicted, the deputies face up to seven years in state prison.

Steve Whitmore, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, said the case was investigated by the department’s internal affairs unit and presented to the district attorney. Whitmore said Titel and Richards would be suspended without pay.

Neither deputy could be reached for comment.