General Crime

* Wendell Rapada, Crystal Rapada, Ephraim Rapada, Ervin Rapada Arrested in Alleged Fight

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Four San Bruno family members who were accused of beating up several police officers on the Fourth of July have pleaded not guilty to battery charges in San Mateo Superior Court. The alleged attack occurred when two officers taking part in a countywide fireworks abatement patrol on Independence Day saw an M-1000 firecracker tossed from an apartment complex land underneath their car,  District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said. When the officers approached a group of people standing nearby, 30-year-old Wendell Rapada took off running, according to the district attorney’s office. The officers caught up with Rapada on an upstairs balcony, where he allegedly punched them both in the face and tried to escape.

During the struggle, Rapada’s 27-year-old cousin, Crystal Rapada, allegedly came out of an apartment and joined in, punching and kicking both officers. His 58-year-old father, Ephraim Rapada, allegedly grabbed one of  the officers and tried to push him off the balcony, which was about 13 feet high, Wagstaffe said. Another of Rapada’s cousins, 25-year-old Ervin Rapada, also joined in the fight, according to the district attorney. One of the officers reported that he began to lose consciousness and felt one of the attackers try to take his gun out of its holster. A third officer who arrived to provide backup was allegedly punched in the face several times by Ervin Rapada, the district attorney said. Several more officers responded to the scene, and eventually the four family members were taken into custody.

Two officers suffered black eyes and cuts on their faces, Wagstaffe said. A third officer was taken to a hospital with a concussion. All four Rapadas were charged with five counts of battery on a police officer and resisting arrest. Ephraim and Crystal Rapada are out of custody on $75,000 bail. Ervin Rapada is out of custody on $50,000 bail. Wendell Rapada remains in custody on a no-bail probation violation hold from a 2010 felony illegal possession of a firearm case.

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