Robbery suspect shot in Encinitas pleads not guilty

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A robbery suspect who was shot a half-dozen times by a deputy after allegedly pulling a gun on the lawman at the end of a road chase through Encinitas pleaded not guilty Wednesday to multiple felony charges, including assault on an officer with a firearm.

Robert Thomas Parkin, 53, was arraigned at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla, where he is recovering from bullet wounds to his legs and buttocks along with a graze injury to his scalp.

Parkin, who was wounded in the shooting near San Elijo Lagoon County Park on Monday morning, faces 26 years in prison if convicted. He was ordered held on $750,000 bail.

The events that led to the gunfire began about 5:30 a.m., when deputies responding to a reported armed holdup at El Pueblo restaurant on Birmingham Drive spotted Parkin, who matched the description of the bandit, riding a blue motorcycle in the area of Santa Fe Drive and El Camino Real, about a mile from the eatery.

Parkin refused to yield and led a short pursuit before losing control of his two-wheeler and crashing it in the 1700 block of El Camino Real in Cardiff, Lt. Kenneth Nelson said. The suspect then got up and ran off. A deputy gave chase on foot and caught up with Parkin near the entrance to the Pacific Pines apartment complex.

At that point, the suspect allegedly drew a loaded silver .45-caliber pistol from his waistband and began to point it at the deputy, who responded by firing several rounds from his department-issued handgun, Nelson said.

Parkin fell to the ground and dropped his weapon, but began reaching for it once more, the lieutenant alleged. The patrolman then fired on him again.

The deputy, whose name has not been released, fired about 12 rounds, six of which struck Parkin, according to Nelson.

At the site of the shooting, investigators recovered wads of cash believed to have been stolen during the crime.

In addition to assault on an officer, Parkin is charged with robbery, carrying a loaded firearm with intent to commit a felony, possession of a firearm by a felon, evading officers and receiving stolen property.

A readiness conference is scheduled Nov. 30 and a preliminary hearing Dec. 1 at the Vista Courthouse.

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