A La Quinta man accused of stabbing a Riverside County sheriff’s deputy in the leg during a scuffle in Palm Desert made his initial court appearance Tuesday, but did not enter a plea.
Christian Matthew Choi, 50, is charged with 10 felony counts, including two counts of attempted murder on a peace officer. He also faces charges of robbery, resisting an executive officer and assault with a deadly weapon, along with several weapon and great bodily injury sentence-enhancing allegations.
Choi appeared before Riverside County Superior Court Judge Alfonso Fernandez, who set the defendant’s bail at $1 million and rescheduled his arraignment for Wednesday at the Larson Justice Center in Indio.
Choi was arrested March 30 in the area of El Paseo and Lupine Lane following the alleged altercation that left the deputy with a non-life-threatening stab wound.
According to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, deputies were sent to the location about 1:15 p.m. looking for a man who was assaulting shoppers in the area of Highway 111 and Las Palmas Avenue.
Sgt. Christopher Ternes said deputies spotted Choi, and that when they attempted to approach him, he allegedly began to fight with the deputies.
“The suspect armed himself with a knife and stabbed one of the deputies in the leg,” Ternes alleged.
Deputies unsuccessfully attempted to subdue the suspect using stun guns, according to the sergeant. Choi allegedly tried to stab the deputy again before they managed to get him into custody, he said.
The deputy, whose gender and name were withheld, was taken to a hospital and has since been released. Choi was transported to a hospital for treatment of unspecified injuries.
A knife was recovered at the scene and booked into evidence, Ternes said.
At the time of his most recent arrest, Choi had a bench warrant for his arrest in a misdemeanor case from February that includes trespassing, vandalism and resisting arrest charges.
Choi has no documented felony convictions in Riverside County.
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