A bicyclist who pulled a gun on a Fresno police officer and fired a shot was sentenced Thursday to 25 years to life in prison for being a felon with a gun and drugs during the early-morning confrontation.
Whether Patrick Lee Hall, 36, is guilty of assaulting one of those officers is yet to be decided.
A Fresno County Superior Court jury in September found Hall guilty of having a gun, but not guilty for the attempted murder of Officer Christopher Reddy. The jury was split 6-6 on whether Hall was guilty of assault.
During four days of deliberations, the jury had several questions about whether Reddy and Officer Jordan Wamhoff had used reasonable force on Hall when they confronted him about riding a bicycle at night without a light near downtown in October 2014.
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In the confrontation, the officers used a stun gun on Hall and struck him with batons before Hall fired one round. Reddy then shot Hall in the abdomen. What was in dispute was whether Hall fired his gun intentionally or whether the gun discharged accidentally during the struggle.
Prosecutor Ron Wells will retry the assault charge after he finds an expert who can speak about the use of force.
He wants to move on. Patrick wants so much for this to go away.
Scott Baly, defense attorney
Defense attorney Scott Baly said Hall had hoped the sentencing would wrap up the case.
“He wants to move on,” Baly said. “Patrick wants so much for this to go away.”
The incident happened around 2 a.m. Oct. 20, 2014, near downtown Fresno.
During the trial, Baly said Hall was homeless and riding a bicycle near Divisadero Street and Blackstone Avenue when Reddy and Wamhoff tried to pull him over for riding without a bicycle light.
Once the officers activated the patrol car’s emergency lights, Hall took off. Reddy, who was driving, testified he hit the bicycle with his car accidentally, stopping Hall near Abby and Effie streets. If he had done it intentionally, Reddy told the jury, it would have been unreasonable force.
Once Hall stopped, the officers used a stun gun on Hall, but it didn’t work, Wells said. Hall then ran to an alley, where one or both officers used a police baton on him, hitting him in the back of the shoulder. When Hall tried to climb a fence, Reddy pulled him down on the ground and began fighting with him.
During the struggle, Wells said, Wamhoff heard Hall say: “I’ve got gun. I’m not going back to prison.” Soon after, Hall’s gun discharged. The gunfire momentarily stunned Reddy, then he fired two rounds at Hall, striking him in the abdomen, Wells said.
A wounded Hall ran down the alley and jumped over a fence into the backyard of a home on Effie Street. He took off some clothing, hid his gun and climbed back over the fence and returned to the alley, Wells said. Soon after, he was arrested by two other officers. Those officers had to use a stun gun to subdue him, Wells said.
A police dog named Kubo helped officers find Hall’s semiautomatic firearm in the backyard of the home on Effie Street, Wells said. Hall was taken to Community Regional Medical Center for treatment. Three days later, Hall was booked into the Fresno County Jail.