A 58-year-old woman pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges that she threatened police officers with a gun — which turned out to be a pellet gun — inside a San Diego parking garage Sunday.
Her position on the roof of the garage prompted officials with the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon to suspend the race for a time because the finish line was nearby.
Prosecutors charged Mona Elease Williams with resisting two officers at different locations in the garage and alleged that she used a dangerous weapon both times. The charges are felonies.
Williams also was charged with misdemeanor hit and run in a collision that started the chain of events, leading to one officer accidentally shooting himself in the leg and another firing two rounds at her that missed.
No one else was injured.
Williams faces 65 years to life in prison if convicted of all charges, including past “strikes” for earlier felony convictions, Deputy Dist. Atty. Michael Runyon said. He asked San Diego County Superior Court Judge Maureen Hallahan to raise Williams’ bail to $100,000 from $40,000.
Hallahan agreed, citing the seriousness of the allegations, Williams’ “erratic and dangerous behavior’ and violent past.
“I believe she is a danger to the community,” the judge said.
Runyon said Williams’ criminal history began in 1979 with an attempted murder charge in Yreka, in Northern California. Williams pleaded guilty to assault with a deadly weapon.
In San Diego County, Williams was convicted of burglary in 1986, and in 1995 was sentenced to eight years in prison on a drug charge. In 2003, she was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon and sentenced to 11 years in prison.
Most recently, in 2015, she was sent to prison for a year and four months for carrying a concealed dagger.
On Sunday shortly before 11 a.m., a woman flagged down a police sergeant and said another motorist had hit her car and kept going. The woman pointed to the suspect’s car, and the sergeant followed it to the parking garage. The car, allegedly driven by Williams, got stopped behind another vehicle at the pay booth.
The sergeant walked up to Williams’ car, Runyon said, and saw her point a gun at him, holding it across her chest. He yelled, “Gun! Gun!” to passersby and the car ahead of Williams pulled forward.
Runyon said Williams made it up to the garage roof, and a police helicopter crew with a high-powered camera reported her activities to officers below.
One officer heading to the scene shot himself in the leg. Another had a position to look at her through his rifle scope, and saw her aim her gun in a two-handed stance toward him, Runyon said. That officer fired two rounds, but missed Williams.
She reacted by tossing her gun over the roof edge and surrendering, ending the 40-minute standoff.
Repard writes for the San Diego Union-Tribune