First Images of Lakeside Shooting Suspect Dan Witczak

Dan Witczak appeared to be listening with his eyes closed

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A Lakeside man involved in a gun battle with San Diego County sheriff's deputies was arraigned in his hospital bed Thursday.

    These images are the first taken of Daniel Robert Witczak, 30, since the shooting at his Lakeside apartment around 12:15 p.m. Tuesday. 

    Lakeside Shooting Suspect Appears in Hospital Arraignment

    [DGO] Lakeside Shooting Suspect Appears in Hospital Arraignment
    Shooting suspect Daniel Witczack appeared in his hospital bed during an arraignment on Thursday afternoon. (Published Thursday, Sep 27, 2012)

    He could be heard speaking belligerently with someone in his room inside Scripps Mercy Hospital Thursday before the prosecutors and media contingent went in around 2 p.m..

    Once the arraignment began, Witczak appeared to be listening with his eyes closed - only opening them when he spoke.

    He uttered the words "not guilty" and "I deny" when answering questions from the judge.

    Witczak pleaded not guilty to three counts of attempted murder on a peace officer and/or firefighter with two of the counts involving San Diego County Sheriff's Department Detective Ali Perez and Sgt. Craig Johnson who were wounded.

    A third count involves California Highway Patrol Officer Kevin Pearlstein who was not wounded in the shooting.

    The charges carry special allegations for use of a weapon in the crime.

    Deputy Shooting Suspect Unreliable: Former Boss

    [DGO] Deputy Shooting Suspect Unreliable: Former Boss
    The manager at a Santee auto shop describes former employee Dan Witczak as unreliable and someone who never showed up for work. Dustin LaFountaine of AMP Auto talks with NBC 7's Danya Bacchus. (Published Wednesday, Sep 26, 2012)

    He faces 87 years to life without parole if convicted on all three charges and the special allegations attached to them.

    Perez and Johnson were with a group of law enforcement officers who had arrived at Maplewood Apartments Tuesday just after noon to confront Witczak about photos allegedlly discovered on the suspect's cell phone.

    A girlfriend has accused Witczak of taking pornographic images of her elementary-school-aged daughters with the intent to sell them for profit.

    A gun battle lasted 15 minutes with Witczak firing on the deputies using a high-powered rifle officials said.

    Both deputies were injured in the shooting. Perez underwent a second surgery at Sharp Memorial Hospital Thursday and was in a medically-induced coma with wounds to his stomach and shoulder.

    Johnson underwent surgery for a gunshot wound to the arm and was described as in good spirits, sitting up and taking visitors Thursday officials said. There's a possibility Johnson could be going home Friday, president of the Deputy Sheriff's Association Dave Schaller told NBC 7. Get update on injured deputies

    Witczak was also wounded in the gunfight but very limited information has been released on his condition.

    The reporters who attended the bedside arraignment could not tell what kind of wounds he had but it is the belief that Witczak is going to be in the hospital for awhile.

    The Investigation continues into the allegations of child molestation. Those charges have not been filed.
     

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