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Man accused of attacking Grover Beach police officers admits meth use

A Grover Beach man accused of attacking two police officers last year told an investigator he thought the government was collapsing and police who went to his backyard were insurgents.

Randal Corvey, 50, has pleaded not guilty to charges of assaulting two officers, attempting to take a firearm from an officer, illegal possession of fighting stars and being under the influence of controlled substances on Oct. 18, 2009.

His interview with District Attorney’s Office investigator Chuck Denchfield was played in court Monday and included admissions that he’d used methamphetamines around the time of the alleged incident.

Corvey is accused of charging at Grover Beach police Officer Mike Hollis as well as fighting with him and Grover Beach police Officer Stephen Ball.

Hollis testified he shot Corvey with a bullet that grazed his head during the struggle.

Corvey said he’d had several back surgeries dating back to 1996 and had been taking medication that helped alleviate pain.

He admitted to taking a “little bit” of meth — snorting one line every other day — when the alleged incident happened.

But he told Denchfield, who interviewed him Oct. 19, that he’d had a breaking point, “snapped” and was “hallucinating” when the alleged incident occurred.

“I thought it was the end of the world,” Corvey said. “ … I thought that our government was collapsing and their people were taking over. That was really bizarre.”

Corvey said he remembered four police officers surrounding him in his backyard, though Hollis testified that only he and Ball were present at Corvey’s home when the altercation happened.

Corvey told Denchfield he thought they were “people impersonating police officers” and that he first realized they were present when “they started hitting on me.”

“I went to the ground,” Corvey said after he said police struck him.

Hollis previously testified that Corvey charged at him in a full sprint and that he punched him before they tussled on the ground, and Hollis fired the shot.

Corvey acknowledged during the interview that he had been regularly receiving mental health treatment from a physician.

A neighbor, Larry Kueffer, testified that he had seen Corvey spray down his shed and take everything out of it, and Corvey appeared to talk to imaginary people.

Kueffer said he attempted to talk to Corvey but saw he had a holster around his waist and decided to back away.

Kueffer said he called police and explained to Hollis that Corvey had back problems.

Twice, Ball told Corvey to “drop the jar” (in reference to a glass jar police believed was a Molotov cocktail), Kueffer said, but he never heard officers announce they were with the police department. The officers were in full uniform, he said.

Kueffer said his view was partially blocked because he was outside the fence of the property, but he did see Ball on top of Corvey.

The trial is expected to resume this morning in San Luis Obispo Superior Court Judge Barry LaBarbera’s courtroom.

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