Former San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputy charged for allegedly hitting man with baseball bat, stealing while on duty

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A former San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputy faces criminal charges for allegedly hitting a man with a baseball bat, filing a false police report and stealing from a sporting goods store after responding to a call during the unrest in early June that followed the death of George Floyd.

San Bernardino County prosecutors said Wednesday that they had charged 46-year-old Erdem Gorgulu, who was an 11-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Department, with one felony count of assault with a deadly weapon, one felony count of assault under color of authority, one misdemeanor for filing a false police report and one misdemeanor for looting — a special charge in California covering burglary and theft that occurs during a state of emergency.

On June 1 about 2 a.m., Gorgulu, who was then still employed by the department, responded to a call about a burglary at a Big 5 Sporting Goods store on Highland Avenue in San Bernardino, according to a statement from the department.

Once there, Gorgulu came across Juan Martinez and, prosecutors allege, assaulted him with a baseball bat. Gorgulu booked Martinez into custody on suspicion of looting, burglary and committing a felony while out on bail, according to the Sheriff’s Department.

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