Man to Face Trial in Controversial Chokehold Case | NBC 7 San Diego

Man to Face Trial in Controversial Chokehold Case

Robert Branch, who videotaped part of the incident, claims the plain-clothes detective was driving an unmarked car and did not identify himself

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    NBC 7
    Robert Branch appears in court for a pretrial hearing on April 11, 2016.

    A San Diego man who videotaped his confrontation with a plain-clothes San Diego County Sheriff's Detective was bound over for trial Thursday on charges that carry a maximum penalty of 5 years behind bars.

    Robert Branch faces reckless driving, resisting arrest and attempting to pepper spray an officer charges following the altercation that happened in Del Cerro on May 4, 2015.

    Boss Testifies at Robert Branch Preliminary Hearing

    [DGO] Boss Testifies at Robert Branch Preliminary Hearing
    NBC 7's Elena Gomez reports from the pretrial hearing of a San Diego man who videotaped a fight with a San Diego County Sheriff's Deputies. He claims he was put in a chokehold for no reason while prosecutors claim he tried to pepper spray a deputy.
    (Published Monday, April 11, 2016)

    Prosecutors say Branch was speeding and driving erratically when he almost struck the detective’s car.

    The detective, Paul Ward, testified that Branch wore a tactical vest, and was non-compliant during the traffic stop. Ward said he used a sort of chokehold commonly used by law enforcement to calm a suspect down.

    Ward identified himself, showed his badge and asked for Branch's license and registration, prosecutors argued.

    Branch argued the detective, who has since retired from the department, used excessive force in the traffic stop.

    DA Explains Why Deputy Put Man in Chokehold

    [DGO] DA Explains Why Deputy Put Man in Chokehold
    In court today, a controversial case between a San Diego man and a sheriff's deputy began. NBC 7's Vanessa Herrera reports.
    (Published Monday, Dec. 21, 2015)

    He videotaped the incident and shared it with the media. He also filed an excessive force lawsuit against the county, which is on hold until the allegations against him are resolved.

    After several weeks of witness testimony and evidence, a San Diego judge ruled there was sufficient evidence to hold Branch on all charges.

    An arraignment is scheduled for May 12.

    If convicted of all charges, Branch could face a maximum penalty of 5 years, 90 days.

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