SAN FRANCISCO

Man shot by off-duty cop pleads not guilty

A man shot and grazed by an off-duty San Francisco police officer after allegedly hitting her following a fender bender has pleaded not guilty to felony assault on an officer.

Joel Henriquez also pleaded not guilty to assault, making criminal threats, resisting arrest and misdemeanor reckless driving during his arraignment in San Francisco Superior Court on Thursday.

The 37-year-old Henriquez is accused of punching the off-duty police sergeant after the two got into a minor collision on Highway 280 on Sunday.

Police say the officer fired her gun in self-defense, and debris from the round hit the ground and struck Henriquez in his ankle.

Henriquez is out on $115,000 bail. He is due back in court on Feb. 19 to set a preliminary hearing date.

ESCONDIDO

Shooting threat prompts school closures

A social media posting warning that bullets would fly at a charter high school and that the posting's alleged author would commit suicide after opening fire prompted the closure of the school and three sister campuses Friday, an administrator said.

Dennis Snyder, executive director of American Heritage Charter Schools, said he heeded police advice to close all four campuses for the day as a precaution.

"In the world we live in today, we're not going to take any chances," he said.


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Police in the north San Diego suburb said the posting warned that the violence would happen at Escondido Charter High School at 10:30 a.m. Friday. Police learned about the posting Thursday afternoon and considered it a credible threat.

Police have not identified any suspects and said no arrests have been made.

LOS ANGELES

Vernon battery recycler sued for $40 million

Air district officials have filed a $40 million lawsuit against a Southern California battery recycler accused of exposing tens of thousands of people to cancer-causing chemicals.

The Los Angeles Times reports the South Coast Air Quality Management District filed the lawsuit Thursday against Exide Technologies in Vernon.

The suit accuses Exide of failing to take timely action to address problems with its systems designed to control the emission of lead and arsenic.

Exide officials could not be reached for comment.

Last week, the air district's governing board adopted the nation's toughest regulation limiting arsenic emissions from lead-acid battery plants.

Exide operates one of two lead-acid battery plants west of the Rockies. The newspaper says the plant, opened in the 1920s, smelts about 25,000 batteries a day.

FRESNO

Jury finds man insane in utility worker attack

A jury has found a man insane in a 2012 attack on a Pacific Gas & Electric crew that gained national attention because of the hitchhiker who allegedly intervened in the attack.

Caleb McGillivary gained Internet fame as "Kai the Hatchet-Wielding Hitchhiker" after he gave an interview in which he said he used a hatchet to fend off a further attack by the suspect, Jett McBride.

The Fresno Bee reports that a jury on Thursday found McBride insane when he drove his car into the utility crew in Fresno. The jury previously convicted him of assault with a deadly weapon.

McBride testified that he thought he was Jesus Christ. His attorney, Scott Baly, says his client will now likely be sent to a state hospital.

McGillivary, meanwhile, has pleaded not guilty to a murder charge in New Jersey.

-- Associated Press