A Lake Elsinore man who grabbed the baton of a sheriff's deputy trying to sort out a domestic altercation involving the defendant, prompting the lawman to shoot him, was sentenced today to six months in jail and three years of formal probation.
Edmundo Banuelas Jr., 41, pleaded guilty on Nov. 27 to assault on a peace officer with a deadly weapon, taking a weapon from a peace officer and exhibiting a weapon in a threatening manner.
Banuelas made his plea directly to Riverside County Superior Court Judge Judith Clark -- over the objections of the District Attorney's Office, which was seeking a prison sentence for the defendant.
Clark gave Banuelas the option of serving his jail time on weekends. She also ordered him to get alcohol counseling.
According to sheriff's officials, the defendant confronted the deputy around 8 p.m. on the night of Dec. 12, 2012. Witnesses had called 911 to report a loud verbal exchange between a man -- later identified as Banuelas -- and woman outside a residence in the 32000 block of Meadow Wood Lane.
Banuelas was spotted by deputies when they rolled up, and he was immediately detained, according to sheriff's Sgt. Lisa McConnell. She said one of the deputies handcuffed and placed Banuelas in his patrol unit, then spoke with the woman.
After getting the woman's side of the story, the deputy decided to release the defendant.
"Upon having his handcuffs removed, Banuelas turned and attacked the (deputy)," McConnell said. "In an attempt to defend himself, the deputy deployed his baton and gave repeated commands for Banuelas to cease his attack. During the assault, Banuelas was able to grasp hold of the ... baton."
To defend himself, the deputy fired a shot, inflicting a non-life-threatening wound on Banuelas, who was briefly hospitalized and made a full recovery, according to McConnell.
The deputy was treated for minor injuries and returned to duty after a brief administrative suspension with pay, sheriff's officials said. --City News Service