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California police officer charged after woman suffers brain injury during arrest

California police officer charged after woman suffers brain injury during arrest

A Hemet police officer was arrested on Friday, Aug. 18, after being charged with assaulting a woman during an arrest in July, causing her to suffer a brain injury, authorities said.

Jacob Alan Hobson, 29, was arrested at the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department and charged with two counts of assault likely to cause great bodily injury and one count of assault under color of authority. The District Attorney’s Office also filed two enhancements of causing a person to become comatose or permanently paralyzed that could each add five years to a sentence if Hobson is convicted.

One of the assault charges carries a possible sentence of two or three years; the second assault charge and the charge of assault under color of authority could result in sentences of 16 months to three years, according to the criminal complaint.

Hobson was placed on paid leave, the Hemet Police Department said. He has been on the force since January 2022, said Alan Reyes, a department spokesman.

Hemet police as of Friday afternoon had not released Hobson’s body-worn camera video or described the specific actions that a Riverside County sheriff’s investigator believed amounted to a crime. The county’s Force Investigations Detail, a team made up of investigators from the DA’s Office and Sheriff’s Department, investigated the officer’s actions.

The sheriff’s investigator persuaded a Superior Court judge to seal from public view the sworn statement written to obtain an arrest warrant, a document that is typically a public record.

The declaration was written before Hobson was arrested, and the investigator said “It is also expected that additional investigation is needed and will be completed. Additionally, it is expected that this case may generate heavy news coverage. If information contained in the above-listed documents is made public, it would compromise this investigation and make it difficult to continue.”

The Sheriff’s Department on Friday would not commit to asking the judge to unseal the declaration now that Hobson has been arrested.

Hobson is due to be arraigned at the Banning Justice Center on Monday. Court records do not list an attorney who could speak on behalf of Hobson, who was released from jail on Friday after posting $65,000 bail.

Reyes declined to describe the woman’s condition.

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The arrest by Hobson took place after he noticed a group of people behind a gas station in the 1700 block of West Florida Avenue and learned that a woman had a felony warrant out for her arrest, the Police Department said in a news release. The woman resisted Hobson’s attempt to handcuff her, and that’s when he used force against her, the release said.

Hobson is listed in jail records as 5-foot-7 and 165 pounds.

Reyes said he didn’t know what Hobson’s probable cause was for contacting the group or why he suspected that the woman was wanted. Reyes said he didn’t know whether Hobson called for backup or why the officer was charged twice for assault on the same person during the same arrest.

Hobson reported the use of force to his sergeant that same day as required by department policy, Reyes said.

“The Hemet Police Department acknowledges the significance of the trust placed in us by our community,” Police Chief Eddie J. Pust said in a written statement. “Upholding the highest standards of integrity and accountability is paramount in maintaining our strong bond with our residents.”

Information on the woman’s name and age was not available Friday.