Reports: Gonzalez had been abducted

Shane Finneran

On a Tuesday evening three weeks before she was killed, Diana Gonzalez was assaulted and abducted by her estranged husband, Armando Perez, from an Inspiration Point parking lot frequently used by City College students, according to authorities.

Richard Dittbenner, San Diego Community College District director of public information and government relations, said the Sept. 21 incident occurred in the Balboa Park parking lot at Inspiration Point. The unattended lot is separated from campus by Interstate 5 but can be reached by walking on Park Boulevard or crossing a footbridge at the end of Presidents Way.

According to reports Gonzalez later filed with the San Diego Police Department and with family court, she had discovered her class was canceled and was returning to her car at about 5:30 p.m. when Perez confronted her. He wanted to talk but Gonzalez repeatedly said no.

As Gonzalez got into her car, Perez moved between her and the door. After repeatedly refusing to speak with him, Perez got angry.

Perez “reached into the car and strangled me with his right hand,”Gonzalez told the county superior court in a request for a restraining order.

Gonzalez briefly lost consciousness and when she came to Perez had pushed her into the passenger’s seat and was pinning her head down as he drove out of the lot. Perez then held Gonzalez captive for two days in motel rooms and in her car, refusing to release her until Thursday, Sept. 23.

That day her parents brought Gonzalez to City College to report the ordeal. Campus police contacted the SDPD, who sent an officer to interview Gonzalez. The officer’s report concluded that Gonzalez was “kidnapped, assaulted, raped, threatened, and falsely imprisoned by her estranged husband Armando Perez.”

According to KFMB-TV Channel 8, Perez was subsequently jailed for a few days but was released when the San Diego County district attorney’s office declined to file charges. When asked to explain why charges weren’t filed, a spokesperson for the district attorney’s office said it does not speak publicly about reasons for rejecting cases.

Authorities now believe Perez killed Gonzalez at City College on Oct. 12.

Yohaness Gebretsadik, a City College student, said news of the Sept. 21 incident wouldn’t deter him from parking at Inspiration Point.

“It may not be safe to park here, but it’s free parking, so I have no choice,” Gebretsadik said as he walked from the lot to campus on a recent Wednesday morning.

Erica Sanchez, a student who parks in the lot twice a week, said she sometimes feels unsafe.

“When it’s dark, when I’m by myself, it’s really scary,” Sanchez said.