gavel.jpgA San Pablo man pleaded not guilty today to allegedly pointing a gun at San Francisco police officers during a foot pursuit in the city’s North Beach neighborhood early Saturday, which led an officer to fire at him and accidentally strike two bystanders.

Jesus Paredes Rodriguez, 20, was arrested following the shooting, which occurred around 2 a.m. Saturday in the 400 block of Broadway, police said.

As officers approached Rodriguez, they saw him allegedly conduct a narcotics transaction, and when they approached and patted him down, he escaped and ran away, according to police and prosecutors.

As he fled from the officers, Rodriguez allegedly pulled out a TEC-9 handgun and pointed it at officers, police Chief Greg Suhr said at a community meeting about the shooting on Monday.

He did not fire the gun, but an officer fired a shot in defense, which missed Rodriguez but struck two innocent bystanders behind him in a parking lot, Suhr said.

The victims, an Oakley man and Yountville woman, were hospitalized but their injuries were not life-threatening, he said.

“The department cannot feel worse about having two bystanders injured,” Suhr said at the community meeting. “However, the alternative of having a suspect with this weapon … could’ve been a lot worse.”

Rodriguez was charged with two counts of assault on a police officer, two counts of exhibiting a deadly weapon with the intent to resist arrest, one count of carrying a loaded weapon in public, and an infraction for possession of marijuana, district attorney’s spokesman Seth Steward said.

He pleaded not guilty to all charges at his arraignment hearing this afternoon, where he was ordered held on $1 million bail, Steward said.

Rodriguez will return to court on Oct. 4 for the preliminary hearing in the case.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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