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SOUTH EL MONTE : Former Mayor Accused of Assaulting News Photographer


Former Mayor Raul Pardo is facing a misdemeanor charge of battery after what a sheriff's report calls a deliberate and unprovoked assault on a local newspaper photographer outside a meeting.

The incident occurred July 6 after a heated town hall meeting concerning an Aug. 9 ballot measure on whether to allow a card club in South El Monte.

Pardo, who was voted out as mayor last April but is still a city planning commissioner, allegedly assaulted Larry Rodriguez, a photographer for the South El Monte Mirror, and David Santos, an El Monte resident who tried to stop the brawl, according to a Sheriff's Department report of the incident.

Pardo, 32, is a strong supporter of the card club; Rodriguez's newspaper has opposed it.

The former mayor was taken into custody after a citizen's arrest by the alleged victims and was later booked at the sheriff's Temple City station on suspicion of battery. A citizen's arrest was made because no law enforcement official saw any blows make contact with the victims, said sheriff's Lt. Anthony Torres, the City Council sergeant-at-arms.

Deputy James Kozak, who interviewed four witnesses, wrote in his report that Pardo's attack was "deliberate and unprovoked."

Pardo was released on his own recognizance. He has denied the charge.

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