Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Woman and Son Shot By Cop

Rachel Silva, whose confrontation with an off-duty San Diego police officer in Oceanside resulted in her and her son being shot, has been charged with felony child endangerment and five misdemeanors.

New information about the case, including a witness' statement and accounts of anxious 911 calls by Silva and the officer's wife, are included in court paperwork.

The misdemeanors are two drunken-driving charges, possession of marijuana, driving on a suspended license and driving on a license suspended for a previous DUI conviction. Silva faces up to six years in prison if convicted of the felony.

About 9:15 p.m. March 15, off-duty San Diego police Officer Frank White, 28, shot Silva, 27, twice in the right arm and her then-8-year-old son once in the left knee, culminating an apparent road-rage incident.

The Attorney General's Office concluded that “the circumstances surrounding Silva's car striking White's were insufficient for the filing of a charge of assault with a deadly weapon.” In April, Silva's case was taken over by the state agency. San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis' office is still handling the investigation into White's actions.

Oceanside police said that Silva's blood-alcohol level was nearly twice the legal limit and that she had marijuana in her system.

An arrest warrant declaration released yesterday describes how authorities believe the shooting occurred:

White and his wife were driving south on Old Grove Road. A woman in front of them said she noticed Silva's Honda Accord “rolling” out of a Shell gas station, making “no attempt to stop.”

White's car had to “swerve abruptly” into another lane to avoid hitting Silva's Honda. Silva followed White into a Lowe's parking lot, tailgating his car. White told his wife to call 911, “which frightened her . . . ”

In the parking lot, Silva briefly pulled in front of White's car, blocking it. Silva then drove in reverse, behind White's Mercury, and pulled next to it, so close that White couldn't open his door.

White drew his .38-caliber Smith & Wesson revolver, pointed it at Silva, and shouted, “Police! You need to stop! Police! Stop!”

White then backed up and stopped. Silva called 911. “There's a guy who's pointing a gun at me,” she told the dispatcher.

As White began to open his door, Silva drove in reverse. Their side-view mirrors made contact, and the right front side of Silva's Accord hit the left rear of White's car.

White opened fire as the car passed, his first round shattering his closed driver's-side window and passing through Silva's passenger window, apparently striking her son. White fired four more rounds through Silva's windshield, hitting her twice.

Gunshots can be heard on a recording of Silva's 911 call, according to the arrest warrant declaration.

“I've been shot at,” she tells the dispatcher, who asks who did it. “Some guy,” Silva responds. “A policeman.”

The tapes of the 911 calls have not been released.


Cops need to learn to keep their fucking guns put away unless they see another gun being pointed at them. There is no fucking reason to shoot at someone because they won't stop. Stay your ass in your fucking patrol car until you are able to stop the other vehicle. This cop was probably jacked up on some steriods, or Viagra. Calm your ass down and think!!! There just might be an innocence child in the car who could be caught in the cross fire.

Officer David Lewis Charged with Sexual Assaulting Several Women is Free


In the almost 14 months David Lewis spent in a Danville jail, he missed Christmas. He missed his 18-year-old twins' basketball and softball games, not to mention their high school graduation.

While Lewis sat behind bars, facing almost 50 felony charges alleging he used his position as a part-time police officer in Belgium to force himself on strippers, his 2 1/2 year-old son grew from infant to toddler.

"I missed fifty percent of his life," Lewis said Tuesday, a day after walking out of a Vermilion County court guilty of four misdemeanors as part of a deal with prosecutors, but a free man.

Prosecutors dropped scores of felony counts, ranging from armed violence to aggravated criminal sexual assault, after one of Lewis' accusers admitted lying to police about him. Belgium is south of Danville, just west of the Indiana border.

The deal doesn't change prosecutor Michael Vujovich's belief that Lewis was guilty as originally charged.

"Do I believe he did this stuff? Yes," Vujovich, who works for the Illinois appellate prosecutor's office, said by phone Tuesday. "I think for the sake of the community, it ought to be a comfort to them to know he will never wear a uniform again, that he will never wear a badge or carry a gun."

Under the deal, the 46-year-old Lewis pleaded guilty Monday to two counts of attempted obstruction of justice and two counts of attempted official misconduct, both Class A misdemeanors. Lewis, according to the charges, kissed one of the women while on duty and falsely wrote into his police activity log that he picked her up at her home because she was helping with a criminal investigation.

Lewis was sentenced to time served in jail plus 240 days of unsupervised probation and can never again work as a police officer.

Lewis was arrested in April 2007 and charged with 49 felony counts after the seven women, most of whom were dancers at the Play Pen strip club in Belgium, accused him of forcing himself on them. Some of the women said he was armed and on duty at the time.

The case against Lewis was substantially weakened when one of the women he was accused of abusing said she lied to police.

Amy Dow admitted that she lied about Lewis only after he was convicted last October of official misconduct and criminal sexual abuse of one of the other women. Based on Dow's change of heart, Lewis was acquitted at a second trial in April.

Dow's accusations were behind 15 of the charges against Lewis, Vujovich said.

"She comes in at the second trial saying, 'Oh, what I told the police officers was all a lie and what I told the grand jury was a lie,"' Vujovich said.

Lewis' attorney, Mark Christoff of Danville, said Vujovich called him last Friday and they negotiated a deal over the weekend, finalizing the terms Monday morning.

"I absolutely believe we would have won at trial," Christoff said. "When they offered us a plea deal that did not involve any additional jail time, that did not involve a felony conviction, it basically made it not worth the risk of going to trial."

Vujovich handled the case because of a conflict involving the Vermilion County state's attorney's office. According to court testimony, federal agents had previously contacted Lewis with questions about a member of the office's staff.

Lewis said he's now living with his family at his mother's home in Danville.

He hopes to get his old, full-time job back as at a Koch Industries fertilizer plant in Crawfordsville, Ind.

If not, he isn't sure what he will do next or what kind of luck he'll have in the job market. He isn't a felon, but he points out that his case generated a fair amount of news media attention.

"You Google my name," he said, "and I can imagine what an HR person's opinion of me is when I go to get a job."