As a San Diego County sheriff’s detective lay critically injured, he said the man accused of shooting him got on the floor next to him and told him, “Let’s go together.”
Detective Ali Perez described the moment he thought Dan Witczak was going to kill him and then commit suicide in Thursday’s preliminary hearing for the Lakeside shooting suspect.
Witczak changed his mind and got up from the floor Perez continued. The revealing testimony was part of the pre-trial hearing for the man facing attempted murder and child molestation charges in connection with the shootout at a Lakeside apartment complex on Sept. 25.
Dan Witczak sat in a wheelchair wearing jail attire and a bizarre haircut where only a small patch of hair was left on his mostly-shaven head. The scar left from a recent jailhouse attack was visible across his face.
He’s accused of seriously injuring Perez and Sgt. Craig Johnson in a shootout at the Maplewood Apartments. The law enforcement officers were shot when they went to confront Witczak about an allegation of child porn possession.
Johnson was shot twice -- in the side and arm.
Perez sustained several critical injuries from the shootout, including wounds to the stomach, shoulder and vital arteries in his arm.
He testified the defendant twice tried to open the door to let him out, but was driven back by gun fire.
The amazing testimony from Perez was dominated with religious overtones. At one point, Perez recalled seeing a vision after he came to terms with the idea that he may not survive his injuries.
"A miracle happened, while I was sitting, the Lord Jesus Christ appeared between me and the defendant. He wrote a note and it floated like a leaf toward me. The note said ‘I want you to bless him’ and I said 'God bless you brother,’” Perez testified.
Witczak's ex-girlfriend, Stephanie Tomlinson, also testified Thursday. Her voice shook as she described what she allegedly found on Witczak’s phone.
She was getting her two daughters ready for school the morning of the shooting when she found pornographic pictures and video on Witczak's cell phone she testified.
During her testimony, Witczak sat with his hand to one side of his face and his jaw clenching together.
Witczak had initially refused to enter the courtroom voluntarily.
Officialsrecently found a small razor blade and a piece of metal from the ceiling in his cell. As a result, bailiffs restrained the defendant to the floor and table.
Witczak (seen right at an earlier court appearance) was also wounded in the Sept. 25 gunfight and was arraigned in his hospital bed at Scripps Mercy Hospital.
He has pleaded not guilty to three counts of attempted murder on a peace officer and/or firefighter and eight counts of child molestation.
The judge ruled there was enough evidence to hold Witczak over for trial.