SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A man who used a box cutter to stab a man in the neck on the San Diego Trolley before taking a vehicle from another man outside a restaurant near the Old Town station was sentenced Friday to nine years in state prison.
Gregory Charles Davis, who has a history of mental health and drug issues, pleaded guilty last month to assault with a deadly weapon, assault likely to cause great bodily injury, willful cruelty to an elder and auto theft.
Davis, 55, apologized for his actions before being sentenced by Superior Court Judge Robert F. O'Neill.
"I'm sorry for the victims," the defendant said. "I'll come back a better person."
At an earlier hearing, a couple of trolley riders testified Davis was acting erratically before he came down an aisle, yelled something and stabbed a man he apparently knew around 12:30 p.m. last Sept. 26. The victim required emergency throat surgery for a life-threatening wound, authorities said.
Prosecutors said that after the stabbing, Davis got off the trolley, punched a 75-year-old man near Perry's Cafe and drove off in the man's car, causing two hit-and-run crashes. A television news cameraman later spotted the vehicle abandoned on the 805 freeway, and Davis was taken into custody off the 7800 block of Mission Center Road.
A San Diego police detective testified that Davis told him gangsters or U.S. Marshals were on the trolley trying to make a case against him, and that he hit someone with a box cutter. Davis admitted stealing the car near Old Town and getting into an accident, the detective said.
The U.S. Navy commissioned its newest combat ship on Saturday, the USS Tulsa, which eventually will be docked in San Diego.
More than 150 current and former service members and their families gathered on the USS Midway on Saturday morning.
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