NewsTeam 10 Investigates


Search warrant details injuries to San Diego police officer in Chicano Park altercation

Frederick Jefferson is accused of punching officer
Posted at 6:31 AM, Feb 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-16 13:52:35-05

KGTV) - A search warrant affidavit obtained by Team 10 describes what body camera footage revealed during a confrontation between a man and a San Diego police officer at a rally in Chicano Park earlier this month.

On Feb. 3, at the so-called Patriot Picnic 2.0, two sides faced off over the significance of Chicano Park. Dozens of San Diego police officers were at the event to make sure violence did not break out.

However, an altercation occurred that sent an SDPD officer to the hospital.

According to a search warrant affidavit, two officers were captured on body camera footage telling Frederick Jefferson to stop walking in the street. They told him he was "going to receive a ticket or go to jail if he does not walk on the sidewalk."

RELATED: At least 4 arrested, one for punching officer, at Chicano Park demonstrations

Jefferson refused to do so, and the documents stated he "ignores the order."

The affidavit goes on to say the video showed one of the officers grab Jefferson's arm, telling him to stop. However, he pushed the officers and yelled to "get off me, man!"

According to the documents, Jefferson faced Officer Ruggiero in a "challenging stance," and there was a struggle between the officers and Jefferson.

The affidavit stated Jefferson hit the officer twice -- something he did not deny in an interview with 10News.

"I swung and hit him to put distance between us and then he swung again and I swung again because I could not let this dude grab me," Jefferson told 10News.

RELATED: Man claims he punched officer out of self defense outside Chicano Park protests

Ruggiero was "bleeding from his head and face," according to the documents.

Per the affidavit, the officer was worried that "Jefferson could have beaten him unconscious and possibly had access to his gun."

During the confrontation, the injured officer deployed his baton and appeared to swing it at Jefferson. He did not retreat from the baton strikes or request an ambulance, the affidavit stated.

Ruggiero suffered a mid-facial fracture, nasal fractures and a cut above his eyebrow.

A doctor said the officer would require facial reconstruction with screws and plates attached to the bones in his face.

Jefferson faces four charges stemming from his arrest. He could face more than nine years in prison if he is convicted.