Susan Luzzaro 6:30 p.m., July 31
San Diego County deputy said she got body-slammed
Anthony Garcia denies throwing deputy to ground before she shot him
“He basically body-slammed me on the ground,” said deputy Michelle Storms. The pale brunette said the man with whom she had been scuffling picked her up bodily and walked her backwards, and then threw her onto a concrete walkway.
Deputy Storms described herself as 5 feet 5 inches tall and 155 pounds. She estimated her assailant was 5 feet 8 inches tall and 230 pounds.
“The next thing I remember was my head hitting the concrete,” the deputy said. “I saw stars.”
Officer Storms said she had been a deputy with the San Diego County Sheriff about 2 years, when she answered a call complaining of persons smoking marijuana in the laundry room of an apartment complex. The deputy arrived before 8 p.m. on a Wednesday evening, May 22 of this year, at 2232 Primrose Avenue in Vista, California.
There were four persons in the small laundry room, and one man, 20-year-old Anthony Fernando Garcia, would not make eye contact with her and “he was pretty evasive answering my questions,” the deputy recalled. Officer Storms noticed three dots tattooed on one of Garcia’s hands, she called them “tres puntas,” and said it was her experience that this tattoo is generally associated with gang members.
The officer wanted to detain Garcia while she questioned him and “I was starting to put handcuffs on him” when the young man pulled away and the two began to strike each other, she said.
“He was a lot stronger than me” the officer observed, and she claimed her combative subject “lifted me up off the ground” and carried her backwards and out of the laundry room.
The deputy believes she “blacked out for a moment” when she hit the ground, and said she struggled to stay alert while she reached for her taser. But the young man took her taser away and “I heard the taser deploy;” the officer said the taser prongs missed her.
Anthony Fernando Garcia was bending over, reaching for “cinderblock rocks” when deputy Michelle Storms fired one shot at him, she said. “He turned around and bolted away from me,” she recalled. “I assumed when he ran that I missed him.” But then the young man stopped and turned towards her again. “I saw a red stain on his shirt and he yelled, ‘You shot me!’”
Deputy Storms gave testimony in court this morning, September 10, 2013.
Anthony Garcia was shot once, the bullet entered the far right side of his back, and it was removed from his chest at hospital, according to testimony today.
Superior Court Judge K. Michael Kirkman ordered Garcia held to answer three new charges: felony assault on a peace officer and resisting arrest and taking a weapon from a peace officer. Honorable Judge Kirkman noticed that at the time of this incident, Garcia was out on probation for three different, previous cases.
The defendant pleads not guilty to all charges and is next due in San Diego’s North County Superior Courthouse on September 25, 2013.
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