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Suspect rejects plea deal in Morro Bay bar brawl case 

Though a deputy district attorney was willing to forgive several charges (including a felony) against him, Joseph Ian didn’t want to deal during his Dec. 10 court appearance. He told New Times he was confident and willing to fight to prove his complete innocence.

Ian stands accused of battery against an officer, resisting arrest, public intoxication, attempted lynching, and rout (a term that captures conduct beyond unlawful assembly but not quite a riot) for his alleged involvement in the chaotic arrest of his friend Brian Lopez Martinez on June 8 at the Fuel Dock Saloon in Morro Bay. Unlike his friend, Ian escaped the scuffle unharmed but was arrested for attempting to pull Lopez Martinez from the grip of officers and striking them, according to police reports.

Ian said prosecutor David Pomeroy offered to drop all of the charges except a misdemeanor for battery against an officer, which would have come with a 15-day jail sentence. Ian didn’t want the conviction on his record, however, and didn’t agree to the bargain.

If he’s convicted on all of his current charges, Ian could face up to eight years in jail and several thousand dollars in fines.

Lopez Martinez filed a government tort claim with the city on Dec. 5, alleging police brutality.

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