Judge Richard Mills
Photo by Nick Morris
  • Judge Richard Mills Photo by Nick Morris
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A young man bicycling on Grand Avenue in Escondido was found to be carrying a “metal knuckles” weapon that had a folding four-inch blade appendage, according to testimony given by Escondido police officer Jason White on February 15 at the Vista courthouse.

Alex Robert Gralnic, 19, was stopped on January 30 because he was riding his bike on the roadway at about 10 p.m. with no lights, the officer said. In the teenager’s backpack, the officer also found what he called a “metallic spring-loaded punch tool,” which he said is often used to shatter tempered glass on cars during “vehicle burglaries.”

The officer also said that Gralnic is a “documented” member of an Escondido street gang and that he has a gang tattoo across his chest.

Superior court judge Richard Mills remarked that the knife-weapon was “scary” and “could easily kill someone,” and he declined the public defender’s request to reduce the felony weapon charge to a misdemeanor.

Mills noted that court documents indicate Gralnic had “all kinds of juvenile cases for violence” and “other bad things” in his record and ordered Gralnic back to court next month for a trial-readiness hearing.

Mills also revoked Gralnic’s probation for an earlier case in which then-18-year-old Gralnic had pleaded guilty to misdemeanor resisting an officer and battery on a police officer; those offenses occurred in June 2011. Gralnic was released on probation and directed into “anger management” classes in that case.

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