Union-Bulletin Court Report

A Walla Walla man pleaded not guilty Monday to punching a police officer in the face in June.

Jerardo G. Torres, 18, was charged with third-degree assault and obstructing a law enforcement officer after he allegedly resisted arrest and punched an officer with a closed fist, according to court documents.

On Monday, his trial was scheduled for Oct. 1 and 2.

Police first responded to reports of a man with a gun at 10:32 p.m. June 22 at Pioneer Park, but they later found a car on the 1100 block of Whitman Street — associated with the people connected to pointing the gun at a man in the park, reports said.

Four people, one of whom was Torres, were on the home’s porch where the car sat in the driveway. Torres matched the description of the man who pointed a gun at another man, reports said.

Police circled back to the home and the four people had entered the car, reports said, but the driver, Torres, got out with his right arm behind his back. Police asked him to put his hands up, but he didn’t comply, and two officers tried to arrest him, but he resisted and punched one of them in the face, reports said. Police then used a Taser to subdue him. He received minor injuries.

The vehicle was searched and a replica gun that unfolds into a knife was found, according to the police’s social media page.

Emily Thornton can be reached at emilythornton@wwub.com or 509-526-8325.

Emily Thornton covers courts and emergency services, as well as other various stories. She has been in the newspaper industry off and on since roughly 1999 and lived primarily on the West Coast, but also Florida and Europe.

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