MERCED — Two men charged with assaulting Merced police officers last month returned to jail Thursday after a judge increased their bail at a hearing in Merced County Superior Court.
Judge Marc A. Garcia on Thursday raised bail from $76,000 to $250,000 for Nathan Schindler and Michael Stucky, both 24, according to the court clerks office.
David Elgin, the supervising deputy district attorney prosecuting the case, said the judge believed the two defendants posed a significant risk after the Feb. 2 assault against police officers on West 18th Street in Merced.
Public safety is the most important consideration when setting a bail, he said.
The judge declined to increase bail for the third defendant in the case, 23-year-old Cody Griess, the clerks office reported.
All three defendants have pleaded not guilty to charges including obstructing peace officers and being drunk in public, court records show.
Griess attorney, Jeffrey Tenenbaum, said the judge believed his client was the least culpable of the three defendants. Griess is the only defendant not specifically charged with assaulting a peace officer. He remained free on the bail set initially, court records show. Attorneys for the two other defendants could not be reached for comment Thursday.
Stucky posted his $250,000 bail and was released from the Merced County Jail shortly after Thursdays hearing. Schindler was still in custody Thursday night, authorities confirmed.
Two officers suffered injuries while they were trying to break up an alcohol-fueled fight downtown, police said.
Officer Brian Rinder was speaking with Schindler and Stucky, authorities said, when Griess tried to physically intervene. Griess was taken to the ground by officers, police said, and Sgt. Curt Gorman began to assist. Schindler then kicked and punched Gorman in the face and head, the department said.
Elgin said attorneys and the judge discussed Schindlers mixed martial arts training during Thursdays hearing.
Gorman suffered a broken nose and has yet to be medically cleared for duty. Capt. Tom Trindad said Thursday that Rinder and a police dog were also assaulted but returned to duty the next day.
All three defendants are due in court April 1 for further hearings.
Staff writer Rob Parsons can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (209) 385-2482.