Lecturer arrested for battery on cop
April 9, 2008 8:46 AM
University police arrested an SF State math lecturer late last month for allegedly striking a campus police officer after the lecturer was approached for jaywalking on 19th Avenue, according to university police.
David Sklar, 61, pleaded not guilty to the six misdemeanor charges filed against him on March 21, including resisting arrest and battery on emergency personnel, which were originally felonies, according to the San Francisco District Attorney’s office. However, the district attorney reduced the charges to misdemeanors, according to the D.A.’s office and the SF State crime log.
Sklar spent two days in jail following the arrest, said his attorney, Brian Getz.
Mathematics department chair David Bao said he will require no disciplinary action against Sklar following the arrest and that Sklar will continue teaching his regular courses.
“I feel this is an unfortunate incident that has been blown way out of proportion,” Bao said. “I have 100 percent confidence behind Mr. Sklar’s integrity. There’s no reason why he shouldn’t continue teaching here at SF State.”
Officer Jarrod Yee of the university police reportedly approached Sklar around 7 a.m. while the instructor jaywalked near Stonestown, said Getz.
“He thought that he would give him a ticket,” Getz said of Yee.
During the incident involving the arrest, police reported that Sklar was “acting suspicious and was yelling,” and Yee called for backup. When another officer, Todd Settergren, arrived, he allegedly found Yee struggling to hold Sklar against the police car and used his “speed and weight to knock Sklar to the ground.”
Two more officers reportedly came to the scene to help restrain Sklar, and the instructor allegedly tried to kick one of the officers after police handcuffed him. Still holding him on the ground, police held down his legs and upper chest until, “about five minutes later, Sklar did not resist,” according to a police report prepared by Settergreen.
The account of Yee, who was the first officer to approach Sklar, was not included in the police report provided to the [X]press.
University policy does not require immediate discipline of faculty after an arrest and considers events like this on a “case-by-case basis,” said university spokeswoman Ellen Griffin. She added that the faculty member’s supervisors, including department chairs and college deans, determine when discipline is necessary.
Sklar, under the advice of his attorney, did not comment on the matter, except to say, “I’m not going to let this take over my life.” He is scheduled to be in court later this month to determine his future court dates.
The incident occurred two weeks before the forced take-down of a man police said was 61-year-old Richard C. Stypmann, who is homeless, outside of the Cesar Chavez Student Center last week.
Responding to reported complaints that Stypmann was creating a disturbance at the SFSU Bookstore, police confronted him outside of the student center in what led to his take-down.
Staff Writer Doug Morino contributed to this report.
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