A 46-year-old man pleaded no contest to assault charges after he attacked a man in downtown Mountain View in February, reportedly pinning him to the ground and strangling him during an argument.
Devin Polehla, a transient, pleaded no contest to one count of assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury. Though the charge carries up to a four-year prison sentence, the plea deal states Polehla will instead be housed in county jail for 364 days with no opportunity for early release.
Polehla was arrested on Jan. 31 around 8:15 a.m. following reports of a fight in the Civic Center Plaza on Castro Street. Officers who arrived at the scene say Polehla had pinned the victim to the ground and had both of his hands in a grip around the victim's neck, according to the police report, while the victim was motionless and believed to be gravely injured or unconscious.
Officers say Polehla ignored multiple commands to get off the victim and were forced to push him to the ground before handcuffing him. Polehla suffered a laceration on his face, but it was unclear whether it was sustained during the altercation or while being taken into custody.
The victim was transported to Stanford Hospital and did not suffer any significant injuries, according to the police report.
In a statement to police, the victim said he and Polehla were both transients who frequently got together to drink and socialize, including on Jan. 31 when they met at the Civic Center Plaza to share a bottle of vodka. The victim said he began playing music on his phone, which Polehla didn't like, and that Polehla became "highly agitated" when he refused to turn it off.
The victim told police that Polehla shoved him multiple times, and that he bumped his head into concrete and was knocked unconscious. At one point during the altercation he recalled being choked. Police originally sought to charge Polehla with attempted homicide -- far more severe than the charges in the plea deal.
Sentencing for the case is scheduled for June 10.