SAN DIEGO (CNS) - An Aug. 28 trial date was set Wednesday for an ex-con accused of opening fire on a San Diego police officer last fall while trying to evade arrest by fleeing through a drainage tunnel in City Heights.
Ignacio Canela, 31, is charged with premeditated attempted murder of a police officer and other counts stemming from the shooting last October that seriously injured Officer Timothy Bell.
Judge Kathleen Lewis scheduled an Aug. 20 readiness conference for Canela, who pleaded not guilty to the charges today during his arraignment in Superior Court.
During a preliminary hearing last month, Bell testified that he was wounded after wrestling with Canela inside the tunnel.
Bell said he caught up with Canela -- whom officers had pursued through local streets while trying to stop him for outstanding felony warrants -- and chased the suspect into the dark tunnel.
The five-year SDPD veteran testified that he was shot in the left arm, twice in the left hip and thigh and once in the abdomen.
Deputy District Attorney Michael Runyon said officers spotted Canela coming out of a residence on Wightman Street last Oct. 24 and get into a silver Dodge SUV with a female companion.
About two months before the shooting, Canela was charged with possession of methamphetamine for sale, possession of cocaine, possession of narcotics paraphernalia and possession of burglary tools. However, he failed to appear in court to face the charges, and warrants for his arrest were issued.
Canela allegedly led officers on a high-speed chase down city streets and freeways before reaching a dead end in the 3000 block of Central Avenue. There, he and the woman jumped out of the SUV, which continued rolling and went down a brushy slope, Runyon said.
Canela -- who has been to prison several times on burglary and other charges dating back to 2004 -- faces 40 years to life in prison if convicted.
Firefighters were battling a roadside vegetation fire Friday morning off Interstate 15 near Market Street in the Mount Hope neighborhood, authorities said.
Temperatures are going to remain in the warm range across San Diego County, but the sizzling temperatures experienced Wednesday and Thursday will not be present.
Shoppers were out before dawn in the U.S. for fun and for deals, as retailers that have had a tough year were hoping to bring customers to their stores and websites for Black Friday, one of the biggest shopping days of the year.
A charity run, meals for the needy, a long-running music festival and -- shhh! -- holiday shopping were on tap for Thanksgiving Day in San Diego.
The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in San Diego County was at its highest amount on Thanksgiving since 2013 Thursday, despite dropping for 10 consecutive days.
Shoppers are hitting the stores on Thanksgiving as retailers under pressure look for ways to poach shoppers from their rivals.
The California Highway Patrol arrested 15 in San Diego County on suspicion of drunken driving, during the first night of its annual Thanksgiving "maximum enforcement period."
The always-heated topic of whether to begin holiday shopping on Thanksgiving Day will be raised again Thursday, as many chain stores will open their doors around San Diego one day before the so-called "Black Friday."