REDWOOD CITY -- A San Mateo County Sheriff's Deputy has pleaded not guilty to stealing a trumpet and jacket from a musician at a Millbrae hotel, a prosecutor said Tuesday.
Brandon Hatt, 34, grabbed the items and walked out of the Aloft Hotel on East Millbrae Avenue at the end of a night out playing pool Dec. 20 with a group that included other deputies, assistant district attorney Al Serrato said. Hatt entered his plea to one count of felony grand theft Monday in San Mateo County Superior Court.
Defense attorney Erin Dervin declined to comment on the case.
Prosecutors say Hatt, who was off duty at the time, left the hotel for a minute and then came back alone and took the jacket and instrument, which was believed to be worth $2,000. He was caught on surveillance footage walking out of the hotel with the items, Serrato said.
The people driving with Hatt allegedly tossed the horn and jacket out of their car in Millbrae. Police were unable to find the items. The victim later found his instrument in a driveway, but not his jacket. Prosecutors said they don't know what motivated the theft or if alcohol was involved.
San Mateo County Sheriff Greg Munks honored Hatt in November 2011 for saving the life of a suicidal 16-year-old boy. The teen had hung himself from a tree, but Hatt quickly found him and freed the boy from the noose, according to a Sheriff's Office statement.
Hatt is on paid administrative leave, said sheriff's Detective Rebecca Rosenblatt. She said a deputy convicted of a felony would lose his job because he wouldn't be able to carry a gun. Hutt is out of jail on $10,000 bail and is due back in court March 21.
Contact Joshua Melvin at 650-348-4335. Follow him at Twitter.com/melvinreport.