Man Gets 7 Years For Punching Cop Who Asked Him To Get Out Of Road
San Diego, CA – A man has been sentenced to seven years in prison after attacking a cop who asked him to get out of the roadway.
Frederick Jefferson, 39, was convicted in August of assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury, resisting an executive officer, and resisting an officer, according to KSWB-TV.
The incident started Feb. 3 when Jefferson was walking in the middle of the street near where antifa and a patriot Picnic group were squaring off in a park.
Two police officers told Jefferson to get out of the street and walk on the sidewalk. The prosecutor said in court that the officers had the right to enforce traffic laws.
One officer said to Jefferson, “Get out of the street,” according to KSWB. “C’mon dude, stop! You’re gonna get a ticket, or got to jail!”
The prosecutor said that Jefferson reacted with violence when the police officers got out of their patrol car and tried to grab Jefferson’s arm and direct him to the sidewalk.
"Don't you put your hands on me," Jefferson said, as recorded on one of the officer's body cameras.
Officer Ruggiero pulled out his police baton but didn’t use it on Jefferson until the defendant took a swing at him. It took five police officers to subdue Jefferson, according to KSWB.
Jefferson said he acted in self-defense. The judge told Jefferson the police were just trying to do their jobs.
“You were in complete control," the judge told Jefferson, according to KSWB. "You controlled this from the beginning."
Jefferson punched Officer Matthew Ruggiero several times and fractured the officer’s nose and cheekbone, KSWB reported.
The San Diego Union Tribune reported that Officer Ruggiero had metal plates implanted in his face and also needed extensive dental work.
"He destroyed my face with a single punch," Ruggiero told Judge Leo Valentine Jr., according to KSWB.
Officer Ruggiero said that his wife and 7-year-old daughter are in counseling over the incident. Officer Ruggiero said his daughter cried every time he left the house for a while.
Jefferson has a history of assaults and run-ins with the law.
San Diego County Deputy District Attorney Michael Reilly said that Baltimore police are seeking to extradite Jefferson after his DNA came back in the 2009 rape of a 18-year-old in Baltimore.
Jefferson was arrested twice in Baltimore in 2009 while he was homeless. Jefferson had a DVD player plugged into a city-owned light pole and was told he couldn’t use it. Jefferson became irate at the police officer and cursed at him, according to KSND-TV. Jefferson wouldn’t calm down and was arrested.
Jefferson was arrested three months later for stomping on a man’s head, according to KSND.