Man In SD Officer Attack Wants Plea Withdrawal

Michael Gonzales Initially Pleaded Guilty To Slashing SDPD Officer With Knife

A defendant showed up in court Wednesday for sentencing and announced he wanted to withdraw his guilty plea for slashing a female San Diego police officer and two good Samaritans with a knife during a struggle in City Heights last year.

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Michael Anthony Gonzales, 44, pleaded guilty last month to attempted murder, 17 counts of residential burglary and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon.

The defendant told Judge Eugenia Eyherabide Wednesday that he was "misinformed" and wanted to withdraw the guilty pleas, for which he faces nearly 25 years in prison, prompting her to set a May 4 hearing on the defendant's motion. Sentencing could follow if the motion to withdraw the plea is denied.

The defendant attacked Officer Kelly Doherty after she stopped him on his bicycle for a traffic violation on 34th Street near Orange Avenue about 12:35 p.m. last Aug. 13, Deputy District Attorney Oscar Garcia said.

Gonzales was cooperative until Doherty discovered he was wanted for missing a scheduled court appearance in a residential burglary case. He then threw her down and stomped on her head, face and body, the prosecutor said.

Doherty testified at an earlier hearing that Gonzales repeatedly threatened to kill her during the struggle. She said she tried to lay on her right side so that he would not be able to reach her service weapon.

A good Samaritan, Joseph Mejia, intervened, enabling Doherty to shoot Gonzales twice with a Taser and subdue him, she testified.

Doherty suffered wounds to her chin and neck. Mejia was wounded on the neck, and another man who intervened, Robert Haley, was cut on the arm.

A third man, Armando Guerrero, was able to get the knife away from the defendant, who was facing burglary charges and was free on bond when the attack took place.

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