The man shot in the leg by a Morro Bay police officer in October after allegedly hitting the officer in the head with a 4-foot-long stick will be returned to San Luis Obispo Superior Court for a hearing after Atascadero State Hospital officials said Wednesday that he is competent to stand trial.
Alec Bryan Stephenson, 20, who is homeless, has been in custody at Atascadero State Hospital since being declared mentally incompetent to stand trial in December, suspending the criminal proceedings against him.
Stephenson faces three felonies — assault on a peace officer, battery with injury and second degree commercial burglary — for the Oct. 30 incident that left Senior Officer Dale Cullum with minor injuries to his head.
According to a narrative provided by Police Chief Amy Christey, the department received a report of Stephenson breaking into the Good Flea 2nd Hand Store on the 300 block of Quintana Road. A police report of the incident quotes the witness as hearing Stephenson making nonsensical statements about “reclaiming some of God’s property.”
When Stephenson reportedly fled on a bike toward Morro Rock, the caller followed and pointed him out to Cullum and Officer Maria Lomeli. The officers approached Stephenson and told him to stop, but Stephenson swung a large stick, striking Cullum in the head, resulting in “visible injuries,” the report reads. Cullum fired once, hitting Stephenson in the leg. Both officers have since returned to duty.
Stephenson has not entered a plea in the case and was ordered to be evaluated by doctors at ASH in November. In December he was declared incompetant.
In a report filed in court Wednesday, ASH Medical Director David Fennell wrote that Stephenson is “now able to understand the nature of the proceedings being taken against him and to cooperate rationally with an attorney at his defense.”
However, when Stephenson returns to court for a progress hearing scheduled for March 14, Fennell wrote, he will be under the influence of psychotropic medication.