Chargers Visit Wounded Deputy at Hospital

Det. Ali Perez got a special visit from Cam Thomas, Antonio Garay and Vaughn Martin this week

By Monica Garske
|  Saturday, Oct 27, 2012  |  Updated 2:56 PM PDT
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Chargers Visit Wounded Deputy

San Diego Sheriff's Department

Chargers players Cam Thomas, Antonio Garay and Vaughn Martin visited wounded deputy Detective Ali Perez at the hospital this week. Perez was injured in an extensive shootout in Lakeside last month.

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A local sheriff’s deputy wounded in the line of duty got a surprise Wednesday when a few players from San Diego Chargers paid him a special visit at the hospital.

Detective Ali Perez, along with Sgt. Craig Johnson, were shot and seriously injured by suspect Dan Witczak on Sept. 25 during an extensive shootout in Lakeside.

Since then, Johnson has been released from the hospital and is recovering at home. Perez remains at the hospital, continuing his long road to recovery.

Perez has had several surgeries to treat his injuries, which included wounds to the stomach, shoulder and vital arteries in his arm.

The San Diego community has shown much support for the wounded deputies through multiple blood drives and fundraisers.

This week, the Chargers got behind the ongoing support.

Bolts players Cam Thomas, Antonio Garay and Vaughn Martin visited Det. Perez and gave him an autographed cap, shirt and football. They also signed the deputy’s Chargers jersey.

Perez is an avid Chargers fan and, according to close friends, attended the Chargers vs. Falcons game at Qualcomm Stadium the Sunday before he was wounded on the job in Lakeside.

According to officials, Perez has been making great strides in his recovery. He’s now eating solid foods and walking more than ever.

During his visit with the Chargers, Perez took six steps all on his own, Sheriff’s Department officials said. It was the detective’s second walk of the day at the hospital and he surpassed his goal of going beyond the elevators.

One of the Chargers players took a little good luck charm from the hospital visit.

Thomas received red hospital socks just like the ones Perez wears and said he’ll have the socks with him during the Chargers vs. Browns game this Sunday for luck.

Perez said he’ll definitely be watching the game.

The detective also released the following “Thank You” message Friday, via the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department:

“To my co-workers at the Sheriff’s Department, my spirits cannot be higher. I am absolutely confident I will regain my health and make it back to work. To the public, I am absolutely grateful for the love and support that you have extended to my family.”

Keep checking back for updates on Perez's recovery.

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