A 30-year-old Tustin man who was described by police after his arrest in April 2012 as methed-up, wielding a fishing pole, and slashing the neck and face of an officer with the cop's own knife, was acquitted of attempted murder by an Orange County Superior Court jury last week.
Meanwhile, jurors deadlocked on convicting Carlos Alberto Leon of aggravated assault on a peace officer, mayhem, and resisting and deterring an executive officer. He could have gone away for life if found guilty on all charges.
It's now up to the Orange County district attorney's office to determine whether they will refile on the remaining charges. Jurors were knotted up 7-5 in favor of guilt on those, one tells the Weekly.
Tustin Police claimed Leon was high on methamphetamine the night of April 12, 2012, when his brother arrived home in the 15000 block of Williams Avenue, got into a confrontation with Leon, and was threatened with death.
Two Tustin officers arrived at the residence and tried to restrain Leon, who allegedly resisted and was uncooperative while holding a fishing pole, cops said at the time. While struggling with Leon, one officer fired a Taser at him, but it seemed to have no effect on the combatant, who managed to grab the knife of a cop identified as Officer Nguyen, stated the official report.
Leon was accused of threatening the officers and lunging at and slashing the neck and face of Nguyen before the combatant was eventually subdued and taken into custody. The incident sent Leon and Nguyen to the hospital. The civilian suffered a cut to his hand, while the officer received multiple stitches to his face and arm and treatment for a slash wound on his neck.
The trial seemed to hinge on whether police had the legal right to enter the house, with the defense hammering away at there being no probable cause nor permission granted for officers to enter.