Two men charged with felony assault for allegedly throwing rocks at BPD officers

Posted at 6:36 PM, Jun 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-19 21:36:26-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Two men accused of throwing "grapefruit-sized" rocks at Bakersfield Police Officers during a George Floyd protest in Downtown Bakersfield are facing felony assault as well as several misdemeanors, court records said.

According to court documents, several police and SWAT team officers report seeing 24-year-old Avion Hunter and 18-year-old Andres Garcia throwing rocks during a protest on June 1. Court documents said officers struck by the rocks suffered minor injuries.

After being seen throwing rocks and injuring officers, Hunter and Garcia were seen running away from the scene, court documents said.

Officers pursuing Hunter wrote that a 40mm less-lethal round was used in order to apprehend him.

In the report, the officer wrote that because Hunter had already "attempted to assault officers utilizing blunt objects," and was "wearing a baggy sweater which could easily conceal weapons," the officer deployed his launcher.

The report said the Hunter was struck on the hip, knocking him to the round and giving him a 3-inch purple contusion on his front right side.

Hunter was taken into custody afterward.

Officers also wrote that in an interview, Garcia admitted to hearing police calls to disperse at the protest. He admitted to ignoring the announcement, throwing "small rocks" at officers, and leading police on a short foot-chase, court documents said.

Garcia could not give an explanation for throwing rocks, the documents said.

During an interview, Hunter admitted to throwing coffee at the officers but said he didn't remember throwing rocks. He said he ran from officers because he had to go to work and didn't want to go to jail.

Hunter pleaded not guilty and is next due in court on July 17. His bail is set at $50,000.

Garcia is scheduled for arraignment on June 26.

Court documents show a third suspect was also taken into custody for throwing rocks at officers, a 16-year-old juvenile. It is unknown if the juvenile has been charged.