A man who allegedly tried to rob a Palm Desert business owner with a pellet gun, then grappled with a sheriff’s deputy while attempting to flee, was charged Wednesday with assault with a deadly weapon, attempted robbery and resisting arrest.
Jose Banda, 21, of Palm Desert, is accused of threatening the victim with a weapon — later determined to be a pellet gun — last Friday around 5:15 p.m. at the rear of a business in the 73500 block of Highway 111.
The owner was able to get away and call the sheriff’s department, said Sgt. Rod LaBrecque. He said Banda was spotted soon afterward near San Pablo and San Gorgonio avenues, triggering a foot pursuit.
LaBrecque alleged that Banda pulled the weapon from his pants and tossed it during the chase, then went into an apartment in the 44800 block of Las Palmas Avenue.
An "altercation ensued," which ended with Banda and a deputy suffering minor injuries, he said. The sergeant alleged that "evidence" at the apartment linked Banda to the attempted robbery, leading deputies to book him into county jail after he was treated at a hospital.
Banda, who is being held on $45,000 bail, pleaded not guilty to the charges Wednesday afternoon and will return to court Oct. 16 for a felony settlement conference.