San Diego Police Department

Man in Jesus-Style Costume Sentenced for Punching Police Officer in Gaslamp

According to San Diego police, Eric Van Vleet, 24, allegedly hit an officer in the face in the early hours of Nov. 1 after yelling "anti-police rhetoric"

Eric Van Vleet Alleged Cop Punch Galsamp Clip

A man was sentenced to almost nine months in jail for punching a police officer while wearing a Jesus-style costume the day after Halloween in the Gaslamp quarter.

Eric Van Vleet, 24, was sentenced to 270 days in jail for a felony battery charge on an officer.

Captured on surveillance video, Van Vleet was seen punching a police officer, on Nov. 1, as the officer was arresting a man after breaking up a large fight in downtown.

San Diego Police Department Lt. Dan Smyth said Van Vleet yelled “some anti-police rhetoric,” ran up to the officer, and attacked him. The officer was temporarily dazed.

Van Vleet then fled the scene.

SDPD detectives combed through the video captured on the surveillance cameras belonging to the Urban India restaurant and identified the suspect in the officer’s attack as Van Vleet.

SDPD placed a nationwide extraditable arrest warrant on Van Vleet and he was later arrested in Idaho.

Van Vleet will also be on probation for five years and must pay a $3,027 fine. He must also serve his 270 days in jail over 35 consecutive weekends.

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