The Los Angeles Times from Los Angeles, California on March 18, 1982 · 76
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The Los Angeles Times from Los Angeles, California · 76

Los Angeles, California
Issue Date:
Thursday, March 18, 1982
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Eos Anflcke dimes R Thursday, March 18, 1982 Pari II 13 Former Signal Hill Policeman to Stand Trial in Jail Assault ed that he had been warned about taking it with alcohol. But he denied that he was feeling the effects of the alcohol. Clark also conceded that he weighed 227 pounds at the time and fought hard with both the dog and Hodges. LAND LOANS CONSTRUCTION LOANS Land Iqans up to 1 year 60 of Appraisal Residential up to 4 units no takeout commitment required. Industrial &Commercial Buildings with or without takeout commitment. Loans up to $800,000. Call extension 263 or 212 for additional information. (714) 540-5300 JOB HUNTERS By GENE BLAKE, Times Staff Writer A former Signal Hill policeman was ordered Wednesday to stand trial on felony assault charges after a 22-year-old epileptic testified that he was bitten repeatedly by a police dog and kicked and stomped by the officer in his jail cell. The victim, Mark Clark, was the only witness in a preliminary hearing for Richard Hodges, 38, who has resigned from the force for "personal reasons" involving another incident the alleged theft of a flower pot. Los Angeles Municipal Judge Glenette Blackwell ordered Hodges to appear April 1 for arraignment in Superior Court on two felony counts. He is charged with assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury and assault by a public officer under color of authority without lawful necessity. Clark, who was arrested Jan. 11, 1981, on a charge of being drunk in public, testified that he received 118 puncture wounds from bites on his legs when Clark un-leased a German shepherd police dog on him three separate times in a Signal Hill jail cell. The witness, who said he takes medication daily for his epilepsy, testified that he also suffered two fractured ribs when Hodges wearing "combat boots" kicked and stomped him repeatedly. Hodges' attorney, George Franscell, asked the judge to dismiss the charges on grounds that Clark's testimony was "preposterous, inconsistent and contradictory." But Blackwell, after viewing color photographs of the dog bites introduced by Deputy Disty. Atty. Jay Lip-man, denied the motion for dismissal. The case against Hodges was the second filed by the district attorney's office in which a Signal Hill officer was accused of turning a police dog loose on a prisoner. Two weeks ago, Officer Lawrence Morris was acquitted by a Los Angeles Municipal Court jury of a misdemeanor charge that he unleashed the dog on another prisoner, Joseph Knall. Also cleared by the jury was a police cadet, Gerry Fleisher, who was accused of spraying chemical tear gas in Knall's face. Under questioning Wednesday by Lipman, Clark testified that he had only two drinks "double black Russians" several hours before his arrest. He said he cannot drive because of his epilepsy and his car was being driven by a friend when it was stopped by Signal Hill police for having no rear license plate. Clark testified that he was called a profane name by Hodges when the officer asked him for identification. And he said that when Hodges was administering a sobriety test, the officer pushed his knee, causing him to fall off balance. Later, in the jail, the officer grabbed and pushed him when he was being moved toward a cell, Clark said. He said he retaliated by kicking Hodges in the groin. "I figured I had about enough pushing around," Clark testified. He said that after he was lying in the cell, Hodges came in with the police dog and the three incidents of biting, stomping and kicking ensued. 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