A San Mateo County deputy sheriff accused of pointing a gun at a custodian in a Redwood City courtroom in April explained to investigators that he did have his gun out of its holster, but that he was checking the gunsight, prosecutors said.
Deputy Andy Mar, 50, is facing a charge of misdemeanor brandishing of a firearm, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.
Prosecutors filed the charge on May 7 and arraignment is set for Friday, May 22, at 8:30 a.m. in Redwood City Misdemeanor Court.
Mr. Mar has been on administrative leave since April 15, according to Deputy Rebecca Rosenblatt of the Sheriff's Office.
Mr. Mar was working as a temporary bailiff in a seventh-floor courtroom on April 13, according to prosecutors. Also in the courtroom, which was not in session, were a custodian, a court clerk and a court reporter, Mr. Wagstaffe said. At the time of the incident, the custodian and the clerk were talking at the clerk's desk, prosecutors said.
Deputy Mar allegedly drew his gun and pointed it in the direction of the custodian, prosecutors said. The custodian tried to move out of the way, but the deputy kept the firearm "displayed in his direction," prosecutors said.
Mr. Mar denied pointing the gun at or near the custodian and said he was checking the gunsight. "That's what he said," Mr. Wagstaffe said. It was a new gun, he added. All the deputies were issued new guns recently.
Asked whether the custodian exchanged words with Mr. Mar, Mr. Wagstaffe said the evidence is inconsistent, based on interviews of the four people in the courtroom at the time.
A person convicted of brandishing a weapon can be fined up to $1,000 and sentenced to up to a year in jail, Mr. Wagstaffe said. Police officers who brandish a gun while not in the lawful performance of their duties can be charged, he said.
Mr. Mar's attorney has not yet responded to a request for comment.