Man who allegedly cut officer faces attempted murder charges

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – A serial burglary suspect accused of slashing a female San Diego police officer and two good Samaritans with a knife during a struggle in City Heights last weekend pleaded not guilty Wednesday to attempted murder and other felony charges.

Michael Anthony Gonzales, 43, allegedly 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. Saturday.

Deputy District Attorney Oscar Garcia said Gonzales, who has also used the last name Gonzalez, was cooperative until the officer discovered the cyclist was wanted for missing a scheduled court appearance in a residential burglary case.

“He attacked the officer, threw her down and stomped the officer on the head, face and body area,” Garcia alleged.

He said Doherty is recovering from a cut to the chin — which may leave a permanent scar — and another wound to the back of her neck caused by a folding knife with a blade about 3 or 4 inches long.

Three passers-by tried to help Doherty, and one suffered injuries to his neck, back and arms when he intervened, the prosecutor said. Another suffered a puncture wound to his lower arm, he said.

Gonzales allegedly threatened to kill the officer and men who were helping her. She fired a Taser at Gonzales, and eventually subdued him with help from one of the good Samaritans, Garcia said.

“It was very violent,” the prosecutor said.

The attack took place one week after a suspect in a shooting gunned down SDPD Officer Jeremy Henwood in the same area. His attacker, 23-year-old Dejon Marquee White of San Diego, was later killed by police.

The attempted murder charges against Gonzales include allegations that he used a knife, was on bail at the time and — in the case of Doherty — knew she was a police officer. The other count involves the good Samaritan who was wounded.

The defendant was also charged with three counts of assault with a deadly weapon, battery on a police officer causing injury and resisting an officer. All are felonies.

Judge David Szumowski set bail at $1 million for Gonzales for last weekend's incident and $50,000 for the prior burglary charge. Garcia said the prosecutor in the other case is considering adding other burglary counts against the defendant, who was ordered to return to court on Aug. 24 for a status hearing.

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