No domestic violence charge for brother of San Bernardino gunman

The Riverside County district attorney’s office has declined to file domestic violence charges against the brother of one of the San Bernardino shooters, a spokesman said Monday.

Prosecutors decided there was insufficient evidence to file a criminal charge against Syed Raheel Farook, according to John Hall, a spokesman for the district attorney’s office.

Police had asked prosecutors to consider filing a misdemeanor domestic battery charge.

The allegation stemmed from a Dec. 5 incident, when officers came to Farook’s Corona home after an unidentified woman had reported a domestic disturbance, said Sgt. Paul Mercado of the Corona Police Department.


Detectives returned to the home days later for follow-up interviews and forwarded the case to county prosecutors to evaluate whether any charges should be filed, police said.

Farook, 30, had not been arrested in connection with the incident. An attorney representing Farook’s family, Mohammad Abuershaid, declined to comment about the prosecutor’s decision.

Farook is the older brother of Syed Rizwan Farook, who, along with his wife, Tashfeen Malik, stormed into San Bernardino’s Inland Regional Center on Dec. 2 and sprayed gunfire on those gathered for a holiday party. The rampage left 14 people dead and several injured.

In the hours after the shooting, some online media reports incorrectly identified one of the assailants as Syed Raheel Farook and posted images from his social media accounts. Those reports were retracted.

From 2003 to 2007, Syed Raheel Farook served in the U.S. Navy, according to military records.

Allegations of domestic violence were raised during Farook’s parents’ divorce, according to court papers reviewed by The Times.

In multiple requests for domestic violence protection, Farook’s mother detailed the mistreatment she said that she encountered and that her children witnessed: Her husband had once drunkenly dropped a TV on her. Another time, he pushed her toward a car. After a drunken slumber, he shouted expletives and threw dishes in the kitchen, according to records.

Corona police had visited Farook’s home in the 1700 block of Forum Way at least once before. In July, officers responded to reports of a verbal dispute between Farook and an unidentified woman, Mercado said. No arrest was made in connection with that incident.


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