California

Trucker pleads guilty to assault for hitting California state inspector with truck

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A trucker has pleaded guilty to felony assault for hitting an inspector with his vehicle, according to a California Air Resources Board news release.

Bhupinder Singhbal struck the inspector after an exchange at a Pilot Travel Center in Hesperia in April 2016, according to the Tuesday release.

Two inspectors noticed Singhbal’s truck, an older-model red Peterbilt, didn’t have a diesel particulate filter that state law requires, according to the release. They identified themselves and asked Singhbal to inspect the truck.

When it became clear he wasn’t going to cooperate, one of the inspectors stepped in front of the truck to photograph its license plate. The driver started the truck, revved the engine and jumped the vehicle forward, striking the inspector as he attempted to move out of the way, according to the release.

California Highway Patrol officers pulled the truck over and the inspectors finished the inspection, citing the driver for lacking the filter and for labeling violations. The San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office charged him in November with a felony assault, according to court records.

“The outrageous action of this driver could have severely injured our inspector or others in the area as he attempted to avoid the inspection,” CARB Enforcement Division Chief Todd Sax said in the release. “Drivers should know that every incident like this assault will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and our inspectors will continue to enforce California’s strict policies to help protect public health and clean our air.”

An attorney representing Singhbal didn’t respond to a request for comment Tuesday afternoon.

Singhbal pleaded guilty Feb. 25 as part of a plea deal, according to the records. He was sentenced to felony probation, and if he meets probation terms the offense will be downgraded to a misdemeanor and his probation will be reduced to misdemeanor probation, according to the release.

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