A 44-year-old man who was shot by a Palm Springs police officer last summer while allegedly attacking another officer re-entered not guilty pleas Thursday to several felony charges and is due back in court in mid-October.
Kevyn Matthew Weintraub of North Carolina was arrested after police were sent to the area of Camino Parocela and South Palm Canyon Drive on a report of a man threatening people with a knife in front of a barbershop in August 2019.
Weintraub is charged with battery on a police officer, resisting an officer, assault with a deadly weapon on an officer, assault on a person causing great bodily injury and resisting an officer resulting in serious bodily injury.
In a preliminary hearing late last month at the Larson Justice Center in Indio, Riverside County Superior Court Judge Otis Sterling ruled that prosecutors presented sufficient evidence for the defendant to proceed to trial.
Police responded to the disturbance call about 4:15 p.m. on Aug. 8, 2019, stemming from a dispute reported at Gentlemen’s Barber Shop at 520 S. Indian Canyon Drive.
Jeff Orozco, the owner of the barbershop, told police that Weintraub entered the shop and began demanding to know who worked in one of the barber chairs. Orozco said Weintraub appeared agitated, and he asked him to leave. The confrontation then continued outside involving the defendant and about a half-dozen people, a Riverside County Sheriff’s Department investigator said during preliminary hearing testimony.
The investigator said video footage shows a man who appears to be Weintraub wielding a knife while walking toward a group of five or six people in front of the barbershop. As one of the involved people started walking back to the barbershop, Weintraub closed in on him and allegedly yelled “I’ll stab you in the back,” the investigator said.
Weintraub then allegedly fled the area, and one of the customers called 911.
Police Officer Jeffrey Burton responded to the call and saw a man matching the description of the suspect later identified as Weintraub. Burton first shouted verbal commands at the suspect, who failed to stop, which is when Burton approached to physically restrain him, according to the investigator’s testimony.
Weintraub then punched Burton in the nose, and the officer tackled the suspect to the ground, where he began throwing additional punches, and eventually bit two of Burton’s fingers, the investigator testified.
“He was concerned Mr. Weintraub was going to bite his fingers off,” according to the investigator, who said Weintraub continued to bite down on Burton’s fingers. He said that’s when Officer Amanda Enriquez arrived and used a stun gun two or three times on Weintraub, which proved unsuccessful in getting Burton’s fingers out of the defendant’s mouth.
Enriquez then shot Weintraub once, resulting in a non-life-threatening injury.
Burton suffered injuries described as moderate and was hospitalized, police said at the time. He has since regained full use of his injured hand, police Lt. William Hutchinson said previously.
Neither Burton nor Enriquez testified during the preliminary hearing.
Weintraub remains out of custody on $70,000 bond, and is scheduled to return to court for a trial-readiness conference on Oct. 13.