SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Wednesday a preliminary hearing began for a man accused of aiming a loaded gun at off-duty San Diego Police officers at a Mission Valley bar parking lot last November.
A San Diego Superior Court Judge listened to testimony from officers in case involving the defendant Jonathan Felix. The incident happened outside of McGreggor’s Bar and Grill on Nov. 7, 2018.
Wednesday, officer Jonathan Rodriquez was the first witness on the stand. Rodriguez said he had a few beers after work with coworkers that night. He said Felix was sitting about 20 feet away from the off-duty officers.
Once the bar was closing they all walked out into the parking lot.
Rodriguez claims he saw Felix looking into his car or looking at his car. He said after that he and the other officers watched Felix go to his own car.
“The defendant got a bicycle out of his car, I thought it was strange and he left,” said Rodrigues. “After he left he came back a second time.”
Felix claims he lives nearby and uses the parking lot at that shopping center because parking is limited at his apartment complex.
Rodriguez says an off-duty officer then walked over to Felix and had an “innocent conversation." He said Felix asked the officers if they’d like to smoke, but they all denied him. Rodriguez decided he did not feel comfortable being there, and says he left in his own vehicle.
After that, surveillance video shows what transpired.
Felix is seen having interactions with the other off-duty officers, and then he’s seen holding a gun.
The officers began beating Felix, leaving him with a bloody head, several lacerations and bruises. He was arrested that night.
Second on the stand was officer Andrew Duncan. He was one of the officers involved in the fight. He claims they walked out of the bar and saw Felix acting strange. Duncan says Felix left and came back saying the other officers threatened to beat him.
Duncan went on to testify that's when Felix showed his gun. Then, Duncan said, all 4 officers pointed their gun at Felix then tackled him. They say they were wrestling with him to get the gun away.
Tasha Williamson with Building Justice says Felix shouldn't be facing these charges, but that the officers should face assault charges because Felix wasn't doing anything wrong that night. Williamson says the officers were off-duty and should have left Felix alone.
Felix is charged with two felony weapons charges for being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition. He’s also charged with and a misdemeanor drug charge for being in possession of a controlled substance.
Before the preliminary hearing started his lawyer, Alicia Freeze, spoke outside of the courtroom.
“Uniquely and I think very creatively, my client is not being charged with brandishing a weapon, he’s not being charged with assault with a deadly weapon, he’s not being charged with a lot of the initial charges he was booked under,” she said.
On Jan. 4 the San Diego Police Department issued the following statement: “The San Diego Police Department submitted a criminal case to the District Attorney's Office regarding this incident, in which Mr. Felix pulled a gun on four off-duty police officers. He has been charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of ammunition, and possession of a controlled substance. Mr. Felix is entitled to the presumption of innocence and the full facts of this case will be litigated as the criminal case proceeds. As in any situation where there are allegations of misconduct, the San Diego Police Department has initiated an internal investigation. If found, any misconduct will be handled accordingly.”
At the end of this preliminary hearing a judge will decide if there’s enough evidence for the case to move to trial. If the case goes to trial and Felix is found guilty and convicted, his lawyer says he could be looking at one to two years in prison.
Several supporters of Felix showed up to court today and plan to have a press conference following the hearing.