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Fired La Mesa cop to stand trial, judge rules sufficient evidence for case

Johnson described himself as being “scared” in the confrontation & that Dages forced him to sit. He also said that Dages repetitively asked “incriminating questions”

LA MESA, Calif. — The second day of the preliminary hearing for the former La Mesa police officer at the center of a controversial arrest took place on Wednesday where a judge ruled there was sufficient enough evidence for the case to go to trial.

Amaurie Johnson, the man who was arrested by Matthew Dages, took the stand. The day did not start out well for the prosecution with Johnson misidentifying Dages. When asked who arrested him, Johnson pointed at Dages brother who was located in the gallery.

Johnson later corrected himself and identified Dages during defense questioning. He testified to a number of key details about the day he was arrested. The details included, why he was in the area, what he was doing before Dages approached him, and then describing his thought process during the encounter with the former officer.

Johnson described himself as being “scared” in the confrontation and that Dages not only touched him multiple times forcing him to sit down but also he said that Dages repetitively asked “incriminating questions.”

The defense focused on poking holes in Johnson’s testimony. The questions included key differences between what he said on Wednesday and what people saw in the video itself.

Dages was fired based on allegations that he violated several police department rules and regulations, including falsification of records, according to a termination letter issued last summer by then-police Chief Walt Vasquez.

In addition to the criminal case, Amaurie Johnson has sued Matthew Dages as well as the City of La Mesa in civil court. Matthew Dages is trying to get his job with La Mesa police back in addition to back pay with interest.

Dages pleaded not guilty during his arraignment back in March. 

A Superior Court arraignment has been set for August, 24 at 1:45 p.m. in the El Cajon Superior Court.

WATCH: Preliminary hearing underway for former La Mesa cop accused of falsifying police report


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