46°
Partly cloudy
WED
 72°
 47°
THU
 75°
 48°
FRI
 72°
 47°
SAT
 71°
 42°
SUN
 72°
 44°

San Rafael police officer fired after pulling gun in Petaluma

An off-duty San Rafael police officer who is accused of pulling a gun on two men outside a downtown Petaluma restaurant has been fired, a police spokeswoman said Tuesday.

Corporal Michael Augustus, a 16-year veteran, was fired May 17, San Rafael police spokeswoman Margot Rohrbacher said.

She would not elaborate or say if the termination was connected to felony charges pending against Augustus in Sonoma County. He has been on leave since shortly after his New Year's Eve arrest.

But his police union lawyer, Alison Berry Wilkinson, said the dismissal was result of the allegations, which have yet to be proven in court. She said Augustus would fight to get his job back after the criminal matter is resolved.

“They should have waited,” Wilkinson said. “He hasn't been convicted. We don’t believe there is any basis to the charges in the first place.”

If he is convicted of a felony, Augustus would be ineligible to work as a police officer.

Neither Augustus nor his criminal lawyer, Christopher Shea, could be reached for comment Tuesday.

Augustus, a Petaluma resident, faces three felony charges in the Dec. 31 incident police said began with a shouting match inside Kabuki Restaurant.

A man told officers he was sitting at a table when another man, later identified as Augustus, bumped him, apparently on purpose, and yelled obscenities at him before leaving the restaurant.

Augustus's lawyer offered a different version, saying the off-duty officer emerged from a bathroom and mistook another customer for a criminal defendant. They argued briefly before Augustus walked away.

The confrontation continued outside the Kabuki, where the men began shoving each other. A man told police that Augustus pointed a gun at him and another man, threatened them and ran.

Augustus said he feared for his safety and pulled the gun in self-defense. He said he ran to diffuse the situation and catch up with others in his group.

Augustus was arrested a few blocks away with a 45-caliber pistol tucked into his waistband.

He has pleaded not guilty to the charges. At a Friday hearing, Sonoma County prosecutors are expected to attempt to open his personnel records. A preliminary hearing is pending.

© The Press Democrat |  Terms of Service |  Privacy Policy |  Jobs With Us |  RSS |  Advertising |  Sonoma Media Investments |  Place an Ad
Switch to our Mobile View