Mistrial Declared in Tow Truck Operator Assault Case

Apr 28th, 2010 | By | Category: Headline News

A mistrial has been declared by a judge presiding over the trial of an off-duty San Bernardino County deputy sheriff accused of handcuffing a tow truck driver and holding him at gunpoint on the side of the 10 Freeway in Riverside County, California.

According to news reports, when Richard Heverly, 43, of La Verne, arrived at a traffic accident in August, a vehicle was on fire and tow truck operator Roger Gilstrap had blocked the right lane of traffic. Heverly, who arrived at the scene in a red Dodge truck, reportedly ordered Gilstrap not to block the lane, and while the operator was on his cell phone talking to the California Highway Patrol, Heverly produced a gun and held it to the operator’s head. Heverly also handcuffed Gilstrap, reports said.

Heverly was charged with assault with a semiautomatic firearm, assault by a public officer, making criminal threats and false imprisonment.

The five-woman, seven-man jury, which heard almost a week of testimony, became deadlocked, causing the judge to declare the mistrial.