Police brawl get pair probation - East Valley Tribune: News

Police brawl get pair probation

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Posted: Wednesday, July 2, 2003 11:50 pm | Updated: 1:48 pm, Thu Oct 6, 2011.

Two Scottsdale men convicted in May of assaulting two Scottsdale police officers were each sentenced to one year probation Wednesday.

A Maricopa County jury found Manuel Cardenas, 34, and Francisco Garcia, 29, guilty of aggravated assault in connection with a Dec. 1 brawl in the Holiday Park section of south Scottsdale.

Prosecutors said police ended up at Manuel Cardenas' home, 3301 N. 66th Place, Unit A, at 3 a.m. searching for a burglary suspect who turned out to be his nephew, Jose Cardenas, 18, of Phoenix.

Manuel Cardenas and Garcia attacked officers Kevin Orvis and James Peters, despite knowing they were police officers, prosecutors said.

Police said that after Manuel Cardenas was subdued, the two officers returned to the home searching for evidence and a melee broke out with the man's extended family and neighbors.

Peters was punched in the head, and Orvis was grabbed from behind and put into a headlock, or chokehold, and thrown to the ground, according to police reports.

The jury rejected defense arguments that Manuel Cardenas was protecting his family and that Garcia's physical disability left him incapable of attacking an officer.

"We might appeal it. . . . We want to see what the family wants to do. They don't want trouble with the law,'' said Jose Burruel, director for Arizona's 26 chapters of the League of United Latin American Citizens, a national group based in Washington, D.C.

Burruel, also a Scottsdale resident, called the case "racist'' and the officers' motives "suspicious.

"They disrupted a family that had no history with the law,'' Burruel said.

Police Chief Alan G. Rodbell said his officers did a great job on the scene because not a single person in the brawl required medical attention.

“There's no racism there,” Rodbell said. The city’s human relations commission found no wrongdoing by police.

Jose Cardenas pleaded guilty May 15 to criminal damage.

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