San Diego firefighters (L-R) Econie, Brennan and Cisneros face charges that could end their careers.
A man testified he was afraid to call 911 after three men beat and robbed him and his brother outside a Normal Heights bar six months ago.
From the witness stand, Louis Martinez described how he was jumped and knocked unconscious after leaving the Blind Lady on Feb. 26 and identified his attackers as San Diego firefighters Capt. Vadid Cisneros, Greg Econie and Andrew Brennan.
The three defendants, who were seated inside a downtown courtroom for the pretrial hearing Wednesday, have pleaded not guilty to charges of felony assault, battery and robbery.
Martinez, 44, said the defendants made a comment about his sexual orientation.
Then, he said he couldn’t see who jumped him because his hoodie covered his eyes.
“I’m blind while I’m getting hit by them,” he said.
After the initial fight, Martinez said words were exchanged and he got on his bicycle and left. However, he claimed the three men pursued him.
So he called his brother to back him up.
Martinez said he was riding his bicycle near 34th and Madison when someone yanked him off his bike.
He testified Cisneros was the one who threatened to beat him moments before he was knocked unconscious.
“I was knocked out and I awoke, came to and seen all three of them on top of my brother, beating the crap out of him,” he testified.
He told the court Cisneros jumped up and used his elbows like a mixed martial arts fighter as he fought with his brother Willy.
“I started yelling and screaming. I was yelling to ‘Stop, you’re going to kill him. Get off of him. You’re going to kill him. It’s over. You guys win. It’s over,’” Martinez said.
Martinez said the defendants threatened to kill him and his brother if they saw them in the neighborhood again.
The firefighters were not on the job or in uniform during the incident officials said.
All of the men involved, on both sides, were injured to some degree. Martinez testified he suffered a broken ankle.
The firefighters claim they too were hurt, including being bitten officials said.
Defense attorneys argue their clients were defending themselves. They also claim no comments were made about anyone’s sexual orientation that night.