Lakeside Shooting Suspect Faces New Charges

Dan Witczak spoke just a few words at his court hearing Thursday

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    Witczak spoke quietly when questioned by the judge and showed no visible signs of the injuries he sustained in a gun battle with deputies more than a month ago.

    A Lakeside man involved in a gun battle with San Diego County sheriff's deputies faces new charges of child molestation.

    Daniel Robert Witczak, 30, is accused of firing on deputies who wanted to question him about possessing pornographic images of children. 

    The 15-minute shootout happened Sept. 25 in the Maplewood Apartments in Lakeside, near the intersection of State Route 67 and Mapleview Street. 

    San Diego County Sheriff's Department Detective Ali Perez and Sgt. Craig Johnson were seriously wounded. Perez is still hospitalized after suffering critical injuries to the stomach, shoulder and vital arteries in his arm. Johnson was released from the hospital and is recovering at home.

    Witczak initially pleaded not guilty to three counts of attempted murder on a peace officer and/or firefighter. Two counts involve Perez and Johnson. A third count involves California Highway Patrol Officer Kevin Pearlstein who was not wounded in the
    shooting.

    Since then, prosecutors have added eight counts of child molestation to the charges.

    Witczak's girlfriend told NBC 7 San Diego 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 said the images showed her two girls in the middle of sexual acts with Witczak.

    She decided to go to the nearby sheriff’s station and show deputies the photo. Deputies asked Witczak’s girlfriend to call the suspect on a deputy-tapped phone line the woman told NBC 7 San Diego.

    Witczak allegedly told her he had planned to sell the photos for $50,000 to a child pornography site.

    In the court hearing Thursday, Witczak did not show any signs of injury. He spoke only when prompted by the judge.

    A preliminary hearing is scheduled for February 13. His bail amount is unchanged.

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