A 38-year-old felon accused of pistol-whipping and shooting a San Jacinto man during an argument must stand trial for assault with a deadly weapon and other offenses, a judge ruled Tuesday.

Fernando Garcia of San Jacinto was arrested in April 2020 for the alleged attack in the 800 block of Minor Street.

Following a preliminary hearing at the Banning Justice Center, Riverside County Superior Court Judge Jorge Hernandez found there was sufficient evidence to warrant a trial on the four assault charges, as well as one count each of child endangerment, violating a domestic violence restraining order and being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.

Hernandez scheduled a post-preliminary hearing arraignment for Aug. 20. Garcia is free on a $180,000 bond.

According to sheriff’s Sgt. James Burton, on the night of April 30, 2020, Garcia was involved in a dispute with the victim, whose name was not released, and allegedly struck the man on the head with a handgun multiple times, then shot him in the back.

Deputies were alerted to the alleged shooting minutes later and went to the location, along with Riverside County Fire Department paramedics, who found the man seriously injured, Burton said.

The victim was taken to Riverside University Medical Center in Moreno Valley, where he underwent surgery and has since recovered.

Detectives soon identified Garcia as the alleged assailant, and he was located the next day in Hemet, where he was taken into custody without incident.

The reason for the confrontation was not specified, and it was unclear which child was put in harm’s way during the alleged attack.

According to court records, Garcia has a prior felony conviction in another jurisdiction, but the offense was not listed in the criminal complaint.

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