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Local Congressional candidate charged with child endangerment


A Congressional candidate and city councilmember accused of abusing two children in San Jacinto was charged today with two misdemeanor counts of child endangerment.

Brian Eugene Hawkins, 44, of San Jacinto, was arrested Sunday following a Riverside County Sheriff's Office investigation.   

Hawkins, who is being held in lieu of $200,000 bail at the Robert Presley Jail in Riverside, was slated to be arraigned on the misdemeanor charges Thursday afternoon at the Banning Justice Center.

According to sheriff's Sgt. Anthony Pelato, patrol deputies were alerted to a domestic disturbance early Sunday afternoon at the defendant's residence in the 400 block of Mistletoe Avenue and went to investigate.  

After questioning witnesses, deputies learned Hawkins had "committed an assault on (the) two children," Pelato alleged.  

No further details were disclosed, including the identities of the minors.   

Hawkins was taken into custody without incident, and the victims were left in the care of loved ones.   

According to court records, the defendant has prior convictions for grand theft and auto theft, for which he served time in state prison.

Hawkins was elected to the San Jacinto City Council in Nov. 2020, his term expires in Dec. 2024 In addition to his position as councilmember of San Jacinto, Hawkins serves as the senior pastor at Divine Appointment Worship Center in San Jacinto, according to his Facebook page.

City officials said it is unable to provide further details on Hawkins' arrest as it is still an ongoing investigation, however, the city has agreed to assist on the investigation should it be requested.

In 2022, Hawkins ran against Democrat Rep. Raul Ruiz for the 25th Congressional seat, which covers much of the Coachella Valley. Ruiz won the election with 56% of the vote.

In May, Hawkins announced his intention to run for Congress in 2024, this time in the 41st Congressional District, which is currently held by Republican Rep. Ken Calvert.

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Jesus Reyes


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