A 19-year-old Anaheim man pleaded not guilty Monday afternoon to a felony charge of throwing an object that damaged a CHP vehicle and a misdemeanor count of inciting a riot at Donald Trump’s presidential campaign rally in Costa Mesa Thursday.
Luis Fernando Alarcon, who was arraigned at the West Justice Center in Westminster, faces up to three years in Orange County Jail if he is convicted. He was held on $25,000 bail.
Alarcon was allegedly part of a group of Trump protesters who blocked the 55 freeway at Fair Drive, which prompted California Highway Patrol officers to clear the area. One CHP officer spotted Alarcon running toward a second CHP officer’s vehicle, coming to a stop 12 to 15 feet away and yelling “Fuck the police!” according to a statement from the Orange County District Attorney’s office.
“The defendant is accused of again yelling as he reached into his pocket, taking out an object, and hurling the object at the CHP officer’s patrol vehicle,” the OCDA statement continues. “The CHP officer heard a thud and observed an object that looked like a rock or roof tile fall to the ground.”
Prosecutors alleged the vehicle sustained more than $400 worth of damages.
Alarcon melted back in with the protesters and was not immediately taken into custody “due to the immediate necessity of closing the [freeway] ramp,” the OCDA alleges. But he later stood in front of the crowd of protesters and yelled toward the CHP officers, “inciting the crowd of protesters, while rocks were thrown at the CHP officers from within the crowd,” according to prosecutors, who say Alarcon was subsequently arrested.
The Costa Mesa Police Department has also referred some people to the OCDA, which has not yet filed charges in those cases.