Police Investigate Altercation Involving Merced County D.A.

Merced County District Attorney Larry Morse II was thrust back into the spotlight last week following an altercation with an individual who says Morse physically pushed him to the ground. The incident comes just weeks after the county sheriff announced the end of an investigation into Morse’s possession of a firearm which he kept inside his office.

Matthew Gonzales, 48, operates a facebook page dedicated to local news in Merced County. He had been following the veteran prosecutor around with a video camera, enquiring about “alleged sexual improprieties” at an event honoring a fallen police officer. When he got no response, he finally asked Morse a sexually-charged question involving his wife. According to Gonzalez, that’s when Morse turned around and shoved him, causing him to fall to the ground.

Morse has called Gonzales’s allegations ridiculous and offered a different side of the story in a statement to Sun-Star.

“I turned and walked toward him, telling him not to speak about my wife, and he began to back away from me,” Morse said. “As he shrank backwards, his feet apparently got tangled, and I walked into his camera equipment, which was pointed towards me. He then made a dramatic show of falling on his back on the grass.”

“At no time did I hit or raise a hand toward Gonzales,” Morse added.

Gonzales declined to press charges, but says he suffered bumps and bruises as a result of the alleged assault. Merced police have since launched an investigation into the incident, which was apparently witnessed by at least three people.

Gonzales has a history of hard-hitting accusations against Morse and his family. He recently encouraged his facebook followers to photograph Morse’s teenage son in public, though he later retracted the request.

Read more about the incident here.