Boy Testifies About Being Shot By Officer

Rachel Silva's son takes the stand at the trial of Frank White, who was off-duty at the time of the shooting in Oceanside

A young boy who, along with his mother, was shot last year by an off-duty police officer in San Diego, takes the stand at the policeman's trial on weapon's charges.

Frank White's trial in Vista began on Wednesday. He is accused of a felony charge -- negligently firing his gun -- and a misdemeanor count of brandishing a weapon.

The child, who is now 10 and was wearing a T-shirt with collar-length brown hair and glasses, was accompanied to the stand by his father, a Marine who was serving in Iraq when his son was hit by a bullet.

Prosecutor Jeff Dusek began his questioning at about 3 p.m. by asking the boy if he understood the truth, and the difference between the truth and a lie. The 10-year-old said he did. Next, Dusek asked him what happened in the hours leading up to the shooting. The child answered questions in a soft, quiet voice, but in full sentences.

At one point, Dusek showed the boy aerial photographs of the area, and he was able to identify his nearby home. At another, he told the court about hearing his mother screaming at the time the incident took place. He also testified he saw a gun being held in the other car involved. The boy said he saw the man with the gun pointing at him and he described "curling up" and telling his mother the man had a gun.

Earlier in the day, the surgeon who treated the boy told the court the child had recovered from his injury. Dr. Charles Wallace testified the boy had a small bullet wound above the inside of his left knee. (While the boy testified, he got up and showed the jury his scar, which appeared to be 4-6 inches long and about 1 inch wide.) He testified that the child, who was 8 years old at the time of the shooting, was "awake, alert and talkative" at Children's Hospital, where he was treated last year after he and his mother, Rachel Silva, were shot.

The doctor said the boy was "a bit distressed" and, perhaps, was still scared hours after the shooting.

Wallace said he saw his patient outside the courtroom Thursday and said the boy had recovered from the injury and is "doing great."

The shooting occurred in March 2008 in an Oceanside parking lot when Silva allegedly became involved in a road rage incident with White, who was driving with his wife in the car. According to testimony at the preliminary hearing, Silva chased the officer, blocked him in and clipped his car with hers.
The defense, however, maintains that White fired his weapon when he believed he and his wife were in danger.

The trial is expected to last several weeks.

White faces up to nine years in prison if convicted.

The words "attempted murder" were mistakenly added to the original version of this story -- Ed.

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