Tue, Jun 14 2011 04:00 PM Posted By: Allison K. Sampite
An active U.S. Navy sailor pleaded not guilty to six felony counts of assault with a semi-automatic firearm this morning at the South Bay County Courthouse.
Quartermaster 3rd class Michael T. Williams, who was stationed aboard the San Diego-based USS Decatur was arrested in Homer, Alaska Friday morning and extradited to Chula Vista.
Williams was arrested on suspicion of shooting a Marine during an altercation May 15 at a Denny's restaurant located at 692 E. St. on Bonita Road in Chula Vista.
Williams, 25, of Indio, Calif., was aboard the USS Decatur, in port for the weekend at Homer Harbor.
At approximately 2:40 a.m. May 15, Chula Vista Police Department dispatchers received a 9-11 call about a fight that occurred in front of Denny's.
The caller disclosed that shots had been fired and at least one victim was shot.
The victim was identified as U.S. Marine Anthony Harrell who was shot in upper left the leg and sustained non-life threatening wounds, according to court documents.
Harrell was transported to Balboa Navy Hospital to undergo surgery and have the bullet removed. He is stationed at MCAS Miramar.
"There was a disagreement and verbal altercation," Chula Vista Police Department spokesman Bernard Gonzales said. "The whole argument started over someone making some disparaging comments about a car."
Gonzales said there's a strong possibility that alcohol was involved.
Police also arrested two suspects identified as Jarrel Daniels, 26, a Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class and DeMario Zachery, 27. A high-risk search warrant was served to Daniels and Zachery in a raid early morning Friday by a SWAT team at their San Diego home.
All three suspects were arrested by Chula Vista police for conspiracy, assault with a deadly weapon and shooting from a moving vehicle.
Williams was booked into the San Diego Central Jail the morning of June 12.
David Beatty, a detective assigned to the robbery/homicide unit for the Chula Vista Police Department, was the lead investigator in the case. Last Friday, Beatty gave a declaration in support of the arrest and arrest warrant for Williams.
In his declaration in support of the arrest warrant for Williams, Beatty testified that Daniels waved a small frame semi automatic handgun in the parking lot and was threatening to shoot people. He then handed the gun to Williams, who got into the front passenger seat of a 1996 black Chevrolet Caprice, which is registered to him.
Daniels got into the back seat, while Zachery got behind the wheel. According to witness and victim statements, Williams pointed the gun out of the car window and fired at least two rounds into a crowd of six people.
Chula Vista Police Department detectives in conjunction with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service investigated the shooting incident and were able to recover a handgun and clothing that matched the description of the suspects at the time of the shooting.
Two additional male and female residents were detained during the warrant and later released without charges.
Judge Roderick Shelton set Williams' bail at $700,000.
Williams joined the Navy in March 2007 and earned the National Defense Service Medal and Iraq Campaign Medal, according to Navy Personnel Command records.
Williams' next court hearing is June 23 at the South Bay Courthouse at 8:30 a.m.
This article was originally published June 13 and last updated June 14 at 5:40 p.m.
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