COURT WATCH: Simple Traffic Stop of Scooter Driver Turns into Forceful, Now Felony, Arrest 


By Rena Abdusalam  

WOODLAND, CA – An accused man’s preliminary hearing was held last week here in Yolo County Superior Court, focusing on his felony charge of obstructing and resisting two police officers that began as a simple traffic stop, and developed into a felony arrest.

At around 1:20 a.m. on the night of the incident, West Sacramento Police Officer Jesus Gonzalez said he pulled over the accused for traveling on a motorized scooter with no front headlight. Brandon Pegos, another officer, was dispatched for Gonzalez and assisted him in the stop.

According to both officers’ testimony, the man was verbally aggressive and uncooperative.

During the stop, the officers learned about the man’s two misdemeanor arrest warrants. They notified the accused he was under arrest for said warrants and began to actively restrain him.

While the accused resisted, the officers allege, Officer Gonzalez conducted a search on the accused with the help of Officer Pegos.

The man began, the officers claim, to spit on the windshield and continued to physically resist, punching the officers in the stomach and hands.

During his testimony, Officer Pegos stated he used both hands to stop the accused’s alleged spitting. He noted that he saw the accused try to spit on Officer Gonzalez, who testified the spit touched his body and uniform.

The two officers said they decided to move the man’s resistance to the ground and called for backup.

During the prosecution’s examination, Officer Gonzalez recalled the accused saying he couldn’t breathe when on the ground, and admitted that some of his weight was pushing down on the man’s pelvic area and waist.

With the assistance of backup, five police officers, including Gonzalez and Pegos, responded to restrain the accused. The group of officers put the man in a wrap and restraint device, and, according to testimony, covered the man’s face with a spit mask.

Although never used during the resistance, the accused’s bag was found to contain metal knuckles. When asked about the illegal weapon, the man said they were a gift, according to Gonzalez’s testimony.

During his statement, Officer Pegos said no injuries were inflicted on him, adding he was not aware of any injuries to Officer Gonzalez.

Ultimately, Judge Sonia Cortés ruled in favor of the prosecution’s case, and set a further pretrial hearing, moving toward a trial.


About The Author

Rena is a junior at Davis Senior High School and is currently exploring her interest in the criminal justice system. After high school, she plans to attend college and continue to pursue a career in law.

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