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Restraining order dropped on sergeant

Order slapped on jogger whom he was convicted of attacking

Posted: May 10, 2008 2:27 a.m.
Updated: July 11, 2008 5:03 a.m.
 
A retired CHP sergeant who was convicted of attacking a Valencia jogger in 2007 had the restraining order against him dissolved this week, while the jogger was slapped with a restraining order, an attorney said Friday.

After an all-day hearing in a San Fernando courtroom Thursday, Steven Gilbert was issued a restraining order to stay away from Dwight McDonald, according to McDonald's attorney, Ross Stucker of Santa Clarita. In January McDonald was found guilty of attacking Gilbert last year.

"Mr. Gilbert made accusations under penalty of perjury ... that Mr. McDonald violated his probation at a time when Mr. McDonald was in custody," Stucker said, and added that sworn testimony from a custody official confirmed that McDonald was indeed in custody at the time of the alleged violation.

Reached by phone Friday afternoon, Gilbert said: "(McDonald's) people lied on the stand. I have no comment. I don't want to talk to you."

McDonald, who ran for Santa Clarita City Council in 2006, retired in 2007 after nearly 30 years with the California Highway Patrol.

Stucker said the restraining order stipulates that Gilbert "cannot harass, attack, strike, threaten, assault, hit, follow, stalk, destroy personal property, keep under surveillance or block movement (of McDonald)."

Furthermore, Stucker said that under the order, which he says was issued by Superior Court Judge Robert Schuitt, Gilbert cannot have direct or indirect contact with McDonald and several members of his family, and must keep at least 100 yards away from their home, workplaces and vehicles. Stucker added that, according to the order, Gilbert cannot own or posses any guns or other firearms and must surrender any that he may have.

No one could be reached at the Superior Court Friday afternoon to confirm the report.

McDonald's trial revolved around an incident on March 8, 2007, in Valencia, during which Gilbert alleged that McDonald tried to run him down, then later tried to strike him with a grape stake near the intersection of Hillsborough Parkway and Beaumont Street after a dispute over right-of-way.

During nearly two weeks of testimony, both Gilbert and McDonald tried to paint each other as the aggressor in the incident.

Gilbert alleged that McDonald was an out-of-control driver who reacted out of all proportion to the fact that Gilbert was jogging in the right-hand turn lane while McDonald was trying to turn.

McDonald alleged that Gilbert was a "crazy" man whom he feared because Gilbert kicked his car and may have possibly been armed.

On Feb. 11, McDonald was sentenced to 60 days in jail. Additionally, he was ordered to serve three years' probation; undergo one year of mandatory anger management counseling; refrain from carrying a firearm for 10 years; pay a fine of $145 plus additional penalty assessments.

At the time, temporary restraining orders were issued on behalf of both McDonald and Gilbert.

Stucker said that Thursday, "all orders from the court restraining Mr. McDonald were dissolved."

He said that McDonald was present in court and "He's very pleased. ... Finally the court saw it his way."

Asked if he anticipates further legal action by Gilbert, Stucker said: "I don't know what to expect."

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