Antonio Sotelo Lozano, 30, of East Palo Alto, California, and his passenger, 23-year-old Beverly Garcia, pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to charges related to a DUI crash and an assault on a police officer in East Palo Alto. The incident occurred on September 2 when Sotelo Lozano crashed into two parked cars and attempted to flee the scene. One of the vehicle owners confronted him, but he left on foot. Officers pursued and apprehended Sotelo Lozano. During his detention, Garcia approached the officer from behind and placed him in a chokehold, causing him to struggle for breath. The officer managed to fight off Garcia, who then walked away. Sotelo Lozano continued to resist, resulting in injuries to the officer.
Both Sotelo Lozano and Garcia are facing charges that include assault with a deadly weapon, resisting an executive officer, driving under the influence causing injuries, and hit-and-run. They are scheduled to appear in court for a preliminary hearing on September 19. Sotelo Lozano’s bail has been set at $500,000, while Garcia’s bail is set at $15,000.
It is worth noting that at the time of the incident, Sotelo Lozano was awaiting trial for allegedly sending his pet pit bull to attack officers during a welfare check on July 22. On August 1, he pleaded not guilty to two counts of assault with a deadly weapon.