Carrillo charges reduced, may be dropped

Sonoma County Supervisor Efren Carrillo will not face felony charges in connection with his arrest after a downtown San Diego street fight, police said Monday.

San Diego Police Detective Gary Hassen said his captain has deemed the case a misdemeanor that would be handled by the city attorney rather than the San Diego district attorney. Police also could decide to recommend no charges. A final decision will come sometime this week, Hassen said.

At the time of his arrest on Labor Day, Carrillo was jailed on suspicion of felony battery.

After news of his arrest was first reported Wednesday, Carrillo released a brief statement and then went silent. He left the next day for Russia on a group trip to explore the history of Russian settlers on the North Coast.

Carrillo was unavailable for comment Monday. He is due to return Friday from Russia.

Carrillo, 31, was picked up shortly after 2 a.m. Sept. 3 after a fight broke out involving him and two other men on a street in San Diego's popular Gaslamp Quarter.

The man identified by police as the victim, Jovan Will, 31, of Mesa, Ariz., was found unconscious and hospitalized briefly. He has declined comment.

Hassen said Will was on pain medication when contacted by investigators and was unable to decide if he wanted to press charges against Carrillo.

Former west county Supervisor Eric Koenigshofer, a close political supporter of Carrillo's, said the two spoke before the statement was released and he advised Carrillo to say nothing further because the legal process and investigation were under way and beyond his control.

"There wasn't anything he could do between the incident and when he had to leave (for Russia) other than to issue a clear, concise statement that briefly answered the question of what happened," said Koenigshofer, who is an attorney but is not representing Carrillo in this matter.

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