Resisting-arrest pair pleads guilty

COSTA MESA — A Costa Mesa man and his friend who successfully got the city to hand over police personnel records for their defense on resisting-arrest charges outside of a Newport Boulevard bar have pleaded guilty and will be sentenced in September.

At their sentencing scheduled for Sept. 14, Patrick Donald Binder, 27, and his friend Michael McKee, 27, will have their misdemeanor convictions for resisting arrest from Costa Mesa police dropped if they stay out of trouble for the next 60 days and write a letter of apology to the city, said Binder's attorney, Lewis Crouse.

Binder and McKee were arrested in May 2009 outside the Goat Hill Tavern after police said that the two men interfered in their burglary investigation and resisted arrest.

Officers were at the bar to arrest two burglary suspects and Binder and McKee thought the police were arresting the men for other reasons, Crouse said.

When Binder and McKee tried to interject, officers ordered them to back away or be arrested. Officers claimed Binder and his friend refused and fought when police tried to arrest them.

The two men claimed officers attacked them without provocation and successfully got an Orange County Superior Court judge to order Costa Mesa to hand over disciplinary, suspension and complaint records on the involved officers. Officers used batons and their Tasers on the two defendants.

Personnel records proved pointless when Binder and McKee pleaded guilty to misdemeanor resisting arrest Monday. Crouse said the men didn't have the money to go to trial and took the cheaper avenue, which requires just keeping out of trouble for the next two months.

If the men abide by the terms, the convictions would be thrown out.

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