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After a two-day jury trial, a Vista man was declared guilty of felony resisting-arrest, in San Diego’s North County Superior Courthouse.

Eric Gregory Campbell, 46, was bloodied when his head hit the ground after a scuffle with a Sheriff’s deputy the night of November 24, 2012.

Officers had been called to a residence on Hillway Drive after 10 p.m. on a Saturday night, by neighbors who suspected that underage drinking was going on at a party there. Campbell reportedly rented a downstairs room of the home, where the teenaged daughter of the homeowner was hosting a party.

Sheriff’s deputy Frank Leyva said officers found more than 200 persons overflowing the home into the street; he said young persons holding bottles were yelling “fuck the cops” and “fuck you pigs!”

The deputy said he stood in the street for more than an hour, directing traffic and trying to disperse cars on the congested cul-de-sac. Deputy Leyva said he was speaking to a female that was trying to go towards the party-house, when a man approached and said, “Get the fuck out of the way!” The deputy said it was Eric Campbell who ignored his orders to stop, and the deputy put him onto the hood of a car, and then their arms and legs became entangled, and both men went to the ground.

“He cut his head open,” the deputy said. Other deputies reportedly used a taser and flashlight on “non-compliant” Campbell, who was eventually put into the back of a patrol car and then taken to hospital.

Eric Gregory Campbell took the witness stand during trial, he explained to the jury that he went out to the street when his girlfriend phoned him and asked where she should park. Eric Campbell denied that he spoke rudely to the deputy. Campbell has been free on his own recognizance since the incident, and he retained private defense attorney Bradley Corbett.

“I am very disappointed in the jury’s verdict,” defense attorney Corbett stated, after the jury declared Campbell guilty of one misdemeanor and one felony count of resisting arrest. “I still believe my client did nothing wrong. He went out to help his girlfriend park, and the cops took him down and used excessive force.”

Prosecutor David Uyar said that Eric Campbell could be sentenced to probation, or up to 3 years in prison. The same judge who heard the trial, Honorable Kimberlee Lagotta, will pronounce sentence on April 22, 2013.

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Visduh March 31, 2013 @ 9:21 a.m.

This has all the earmarks of another situation of a law-enforcement confrontation that escalated into an incident. A dose of common sense on the part of the defendant and the deputy could and should have stopped it before it ever started. A dose of common sense on the part of either one likely would have prevented it. Is this worth a prison sentence? Based on the penalties meted out for some egregious acts in the recent past, I'd say probation would be appropriate. But I'm not a cop.


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