Robert Brians, who was accused of threatening city employee Tommy Simmons, was found not guilty on all charges in a South County courthouse last Friday.
Following the not guilty verdict, Brians said he intends to file a harassment lawsuit against the city of Imperial Beach and the San Diego County Sheriff's Department.
"I finally started breathing again," said Brians on Friday after the 8-day trial ended. "My attorney wouldn't let me take the stand because I don't talk very nicely."
If Brians was convicted of making criminal threats and threatening a public officer charges, he would have faced a $10,000 fine and up to four years in prison, said Steve Walker with the San Diego County District Attorney's Office.
Last July, Simmons was photographed by Brians standing in the back of a city truck taking pictures into his neighbors yard.
"I've got a teenage daughter and you've got 15 girls down there playing in bikinis. You don't want some bastard looking over the fence," Brians told IB Patch last July.
Simmons was in the alley to take pictures of possible code compliance violations in Martin Cronk's yard. After he was approached by Brians, Simmons said he felt his life was in danger, claiming Brians said things like he was going to "wring his neck like a chicken" and "I'm going to break your legs."
A day after the incident, the city of Imperial Beach filed a restraining order but it was not be served until nearly a week later when Brians was arrested by several San Diego County Sheriff's Department deputies on his way to work.
A judge ordered that Brians remain 100 feet away from Simmons and his place of work at City Hall. The only exception is attending City Council meetings, where sheriff's deputies would frisk Brians for weapons before entering Council Chambers.
Brians said the year was tough since the initial restraining order was filed by attorneys on the city's behalf. He said there were multiple trips to court, his wife Kristen Brians was diagnosed with colon cancer and he still has trouble finding consistent work.
The restraining order from the city was not Brians' first. In 2009, a restraining order was filed by Brians' neighbor John Harrington who claims he was threatened multiple times for throwing bird feed in the street and attracting pigeons.
In defense, several of Brians' neighbors , which said they found Brians to be a good father, and a good and caring neighbor.
But more recently, in January 2012 Mario Olmos, coach of the IB Predators Junior Wrestling team and Mar Vista High School wrestling team, filed a restraining order against Brians for harassment. One of Brians' sons wrestles for the team.
"He was basically using abusive language in front of kids, yelling at the coaches, calling them names, saying he was going to get them fired," Olmos said. "He did it a couple of times in front of kids and coaches, and so a police officer at Mar Vista was told to do an investigation on it."
The Mar Vista School Resource Deputy Joe Barry believed Brians wanted to harm him, Olmos said, and recommended he get a restraining order. In February, a three-year restraining order was approved by a judge.
Brians said he doesn't deny he called IB Predators' coaches names, but claims his son was discriminated against and not allowed to wrestle for his father's actions.