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Former Fullerton police chief pleads guilty, avoiding jail time for concert dust-up

Former Fullerton police chief pleads guilty, avoiding jail time for concert dust-up
Fullerton Police Chief David Hendricks resigned two months after being placed on leave following a dust-up at a concert in Irvine. (Fullerton Police Department)

Former Fullerton police Chief David Hendricks and one of the captains on the police force will not serve time behind bars after pleading guilty to misdemeanor charges stemming from a conflict with emergency medical technicians at a concert in Irvine last year.

Hendricks and Capt. Thomas Oliveras both pleaded guilty Monday to disturbing the peace during a hearing in Orange County Superior Court as part of a plea deal with prosecutors. They each agreed to pay $500 to an emergency fund for crime victims but will not serve jail time or be placed on probation, according to court records.

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In exchange for Hendricks’ guilty plea, two counts of battery on emergency workers and a count of resisting arrest were dismissed. The former chief, who resigned from the police department two months after the concert incident, had faced up to three years in jail if found guilty of all charges.

A single count of battery on an emergency worker and a count of resisting arrest were dismissed for Oliveras as part of the plea deal. Oliveras originally faced a maximum of two years in jail, if convicted as charged.

Both men can go through a legal process to get the convictions expunged at some point, defense attorney John Barnett said.

The men were off-duty and attending a Lady Antebellum concert in Irvine with their spouses on Aug. 24, 2018, when the chief’s wife needed medical attention. When EMTs responded to assess her condition, authorities alleged at the time that Hendricks pushed two EMTs as they tried to provide treatment. Prosecutors said at the time that Oliveras put one victim in a headlock.

Irvine police officers were called to the scene, and Hendricks and Oliveras were both accused of “obstructing and delaying the investigation,” prosecutors said. Authorities have not said what sparked the altercation.

Fullerton officials placed Hendricks on leave after the incident and he resigned in November. Charges were filed the following month.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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