Man shot by Morro Bay officer will spend at least a year in jail

A homeless man who was shot in the leg by a Morro Bay police officer after fleeing the scene of a commercial burglary will spend at least a year in San Luis Obispo County Jail after pleading no contest to felony battery on an officer in court last week.

Alec Bryan Stephenson, 20, originally faced charges of assault on a police officer, battery with injury and second-degree commercial burglary in the Oct. 30 incident that left Officer Dale Cullum with minor injuries to his head.

As a term of his plea deal, Stephenson must serve his term while participating in the county’s new Behavioral Health Treatment Court, as well as comply with normal terms of formal probation.

Stephenson was shot in the leg after striking Cullum in the head with a 4-foot-long stick near Morro Rock.

On the day of the shooting, Stephenson allegedly broke into The Good Flea 2nd Hand Store on the 300 block of Quintana Road in Morro Bay. A police report of the incident quoted a witness as hearing Stephenson making nonsensical statements about “reclaiming some of God’s property.”

Cullum testified in March that he and another officer followed Stephenson, who was on a bike, to Coleman Drive, where he “bumped” Stephenson off his bike with his patrol SUV. When he tried to get out of his car, Cullum’s seat belt got stuck and he was hit in the head as he attempted to exit the vehicle.

Stephenson had been in custody at Atascadero State Hospital after being declared mentally incompetent to stand trial in December, suspending the criminal proceedings against him before his competency was restored in March.

He is scheduled to be sentenced May 4.