Ex-girlfriend 'freaked out' by Daniel Witczak’s arrest - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

Ex-girlfriend 'freaked out' by Witczak’s arrest in shooting of deputies

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Daniel Witczak & Ashley Plant (2009 photo) Daniel Witczak & Ashley Plant (2009 photo)
Daniel Witczak Daniel Witczak

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (CBS 8) -- The man accused of shooting two deputy sheriffs last week in Lakeside apparently relocated to San Diego in 2010 to avoid being arrested in Wisconsin.

News 8 obtained 18 years of arrest records from Oshkosh, Wisconsin involving Daniel Witczak, 30; and spoke to his ex-girlfriend who still lives there. Ashley Plant believes Witczak once placed a hidden video camera in her bathroom.

"I know he was in a lot of trouble with a lot of people and his house was being foreclosed on. He didn't have a job," recalled Plant, who lived with Witczak for six months in 2009.

San Diego Sheriff's Sgt. Craig Johnson and Detective Ali Perez were shot on Sept. 24 while attempting to arrest Witczak, after his current girlfriend reported finding photographs and videotapes of Witczak sexually molesting her underage daughters.

Sgt. Johnson was released from the hospital Friday.  Detective Perez remains hospitalized but reportedly opened his eyes Monday and recognized family members.

"When I first found out about it I freaked out because I used to date this guy and I feel absolutely disgusting that I used to date this guy," Plant told News 8 in a telephone interview.

Plant recalled her ex-boyfriend had a history of drug use, drunk driving and fighting.

His police rap sheet in Oshkosh dates back to 1994, when he was 12 years old and listed as a "defendant" in a disturbance.

Witczak also loved guns.

"In the basement he had a gun room," said Plant. "He had a M1. He had a .30-06, a .45 magnum. I know there was a shotgun in there. He was just into guns. He knows what he's doing when it comes to guns."

News 8 also obtained Oshkosh Police evidence photos of Witczak from 2009, when he beat up a man who Witczak thought was trying to steal his car. No charges were filed in that case.

Other evidence photos from the same year show the damage left behind when Witczak sideswiped two cars while driving drunk. He then plowed his pickup truck into a dumpster before Oshkosh police arrested him on DUI and hit & run charges.

Plant told News 8 the final straw in the relationship was when her 18-year-old roommate, Samantha, accused Witczak of using a hidden camera to secretly videotape Samantha in the shower.

"A friend of mine lived with us at the time and she was taking a shower and she came up to me and said she thought she saw a little red light coming through that crack in the door," said Plant.

"There was part of the door jamb that wasn't right. So, you could see through it pretty much," recalled Plant. "I opened the closet and saw the video camera hidden under some pillows. There was no tape inside it so I couldn't prove anything."

Shortly after Plant broke it off with Witczak, he allegedly came by her sister's house in the middle of the night on January 9, 2010 and smashed out the rear window of a car in the driveway.

Police issued a warrant for Witczak's arrest. A few months later he took off to San Diego, according to Brandon Chapin, the man who owned the vandalized vehicle.

"I know the cops were looking for him. I (saw) them at his house, knocking, trying to find him," said Chapin. "He skipped town so nothing happened."

The Winnebago County Sheriff's Department lists Witczak with three active arrest warrants in Wisconsin, all of them associated with misdemeanor allegations.

Prosecutors said Witczak faces 87 years to life in prison if convicted of the attempted murder charges in San Diego County.

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