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Mendocino Officer Faces Charges

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Mendocino County´s jail chief is facing misdemeanor charges after allegedly punching another driver after a minor collision.

Chuck Warner of Ukiah was scheduled for arraignment yesterday — but it was put off until next month. He faces charges of battery and disturbing the peace.

Investigators say Warner was off duty and driving a restored pickup truck to a parade in June when he was hit from behind by a car driven by Thomas Anderson.

The Potter Valley motorist told authorities Warner struck him repeatedly in the head and neck after the accident. He says he was briefly unconscious.

Warner´s attorney, Duncan James, said Anderson restarted his car after the collision and Warner thought he was trying to leave the scene.

James says Warner had the right to prevent Anderson from causing any more damage.

Anderson is suing the county, the sheriff´s office and Warner in federal court, claiming they violated his civil rights. If convicted, Warner would face a maximum sentence of six months in his own jail.