Local Chili’s Restaurants Hold Fundraiser for Wounded Deputies

By Monica Garske
|  Wednesday, Oct 31, 2012  |  Updated 8:32 PM PDT
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Chili's Hosts Fundraiser for Wounded Deputies

Detective Ali Perez in an earlier photo.

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Local Chili’s restaurants across San Diego County are teaming up to host a fundraiser for two local deputies wounded in the line of duty.

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 was released from the hospital and is recovering at home. Perez is still recovering in the hospital, making slow but steady progress.

On Thursday, from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. 15 participating Chili’s locations will host a “Give Back Event” specifically for the wounded deputies. Chili’s will donate 15 percent of sales from their participating San Diego restaurants to help Johnson, Perez and their families during this difficult time.

Participating Chili’s locations include Clairemont Town Square, Encinitas, Escondido, La Mesa, Mira Mesa, Mission Valley, Murrieta, Oceanside, Otay Ranch, Rancho del Rey, Santee, Scripps Gateway, Sports Arena, Temecula and Vista.

Guests just need to mention the “Give Back Event” to their server to have a percentage of their bill toward the fundraiser.

Since the Lakeside shootout, the community has rallied around Perez and Johnson with multiple successful blood drives and fundraisers.

Last week from the hospital – following a very special visit from some San Diego Chargers players -- Perez released the following statement expressing his gratitude for all of the support he’s received from both the Sheriff’s Department and the local community over the course of his continuing recovery.

“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,” Perez’s statement said.
 

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