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“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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Comments

TimMeese Sept. 10, 2013 @ 5:43 p.m.

Thank god that Deputy Storms was not seriously injured during the confrontation with the suspect. As for the suspect, Anthony Fernando Garcia, when he is found guilty of the charges against him, he should be sentenced to life in prison, without the possibility of parole. He is lucky that Deputy Storms got off only one shot and only struck him in a non vital area. Garcia is a perfect example of those criminals that no place in our society and should be dealt with as such.

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Eyeeyeball Sept. 10, 2013 @ 6:29 p.m.

None of this would have occurred if the county sheriff's dept. was not so gun- ho on enforcing marijuana laws against minorities and showing military force against citizens.

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TimMeese Sept. 10, 2013 @ 7 p.m.

This has nothing to do with the San Diego Sheriff's Department "so gun-ho on enforcing marijuana laws against minorities". The Sheriff's Dept. would most likely not even been called if Garcia and the other 3 individuals had been "toking" in their own apartment. Garcia was already on probation for three other offenses. Again, he is lucky that Deputy Storms only wounded him with one shot and didn't hit any vital areas. Don't you mean "minority gang members" who are already convicted criminals.

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Visduh Sept. 10, 2013 @ 7:55 p.m.

I'm puzzled. This woman is a SD County Sheriff's Deputy, and she's testifying in a criminal proceeding. Why is she not in uniform? I thought that official duties as a law enforcement sworn officer meant that the uniform, or at least the usual duty attire, be worn to court. Here she shows up looking like "an everyday housewife" (with apologies to Glen Campbell), and definitely not like a cop. Someone want to 'splain that? The description of here is one of a "pale brunette", yet the photo doesn't reflect that description.

Actually, a woman who stands only 5' 5" and weighs in at 155, if physically fit--and all the cops are, aren't they?--should be a formidable foe. That's not to say that she could overcome a 75 pound weight disadvantage against an agitated assailant. The photo of the def doesn't show a guy of that girth, so maybe the jail has put him on a diet.

The picture of this court case just doesn't come across right. Is there more to the story?

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TimMeese Sept. 10, 2013 @ 8:40 p.m.

Currently Deputy Storms is on paid leave since the May 22, 2013 incident, according to Union Tribune story of May 28, 2013 and presumably is still on paid leave. This may account for her not being in uniform today testifying in court. The other answer is that she is no longer a member of the Sheriff's Department? Remember, the suspect was under the influence of marijuana and possibly other drugs at the time and may have given him a "perceived" strength advantage along with his adrenalin. There is nothing mysterious here, just an unfortunate incident where a Deputy Sheriff was injured during a confrontation with a previously convicted gang member with a warrant for his arrest. He is only alive because the Deputy only shot him once in a non vital area. Is that enough "splainning" for you

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Visduh Sept. 11, 2013 @ 7:30 a.m.

Well, there is more, and you've provided it. In hindsight, she probably would have called for backup before wading into a group of pot smokers. Heck, I see backup at many, many traffic stops.

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TimMeese Sept. 11, 2013 @ 11:54 a.m.

I apologize for sounding a bit 'curse' in my previous response to your comment. I only felt that you did not truly understand the circumstances that the deputy found herself in when she confronted the 4 individuals in the laundry room. More than likely when she received the original call she was not told the number of individuals involved. If she did not call for back up when she first confronted the individuals, I am sure she did just prior to or just after the confrontation with Garcia. You would be surprise to learn that 'things' sometimes move very quickly when you confront a suspect and you are trying to restrain him/her. I hope that you have a better understanding and appreciation for what law enforcement officers are confronted with on a daily basis.

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TimMeese Sept. 11, 2013 @ 1:52 p.m.

I meant to use the word "terse" not "curse" in my reply to your comment, but after thinking about your two previous comments I am not if you are really sincere in what you are saying or being very sarcastic? I hope it is the first.

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Visduh Sept. 11, 2013 @ 8:13 p.m.

I was sincerely puzzled as to why such a situation turned into a fight with felony charges against the guy. But, since you have made five comments about this posting, perhaps you could elaborate on your involvement. I think you have a personal stake in the matter that you've not yet shared.

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TimMeese Sept. 12, 2013 @ 5:55 p.m.

Why did the situation turn into a fight?, simply because the defendant was currently on probation for three other crimes, had an arrest warrant out for him, was a gang member and finally, was most likely under the influence of marijuana and possibly other drugs. Additionally, he probably believed that with only one female deputy present, he could easily subdue her. This is all speculation, as I do not have any personal knowledge or involvement in this case other than what I have read and previously seen on TV. My only connection to this case is that a similar situation happened to me over 33 years ago as a Public Safety Officer for a Northern California College, when I confronted a student under the influence of drugs/alcohol who was attempting to break into a dorm. I am pleased to hear that you are sincere about your questions and comments about this case. If you are truly interested in seeing what law enforcement officers are up against on a daily basis, I would recommend that you contact your local police/sheriff agency about going on a Ride-A-Long. Again, no personal stake other than defending law enforcement when appropriate, or being critical of them when necessary!!!

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KevinTodd Sept. 12, 2013 @ 7:36 a.m.

More minority excuses for a gang criminal.

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