Victim forgives man accused of stabbing him during church break-in

CHULA VISTA, Calif. - A man who was stabbed several times during an Otay Mesa church break-in said Tuesday he forgives the assailant.

Gerard Burciaga, 33, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to burglary and assault with a deadly weapon charges. He's accused of breaking a window at the Casa Del Rey Church in Otay Mesa on April 4 just after 10:30 p.m.

Gerard Burciaga

San Diego police said the sound of the window breaking woke Moises Amezcua, a 27-year-old man who was sleeping in the church. Amezcua saw Burciaga and told him to leave. Burciaga threw a brick and then stabbed the man with a pocket knife, police said.

“He was inside the church when I got downstairs,” said Amezcua. “I saw him with a brick on his hand and a pocket knife in the other, and we started getting in a scuffle.”

The suspect threw the brick at his head, he said.

Amezcua chased Burciaga out of the church and followed him to a nearby trolley station, where the suspect jumped onto a northbound train, police said.

“I went to the bus stop and saw myself covered in blood and I called 9-1-1,” said Amezcua.

Police officers arrested Burciaga a short time later at the Palm Avenue trolley station.

Moises Amezcua shows off stabbing wounds suffered during a church break-in.

The victim suffered non-life threatening injuries to his neck, chest, shoulder, arms and legs.

Amezcua showed FOX 5 his stab wounds and stitches and said he forgives Burciaga.

“The detective said if somebody was protecting you out there that’s God. I mean it’s his mercy, grace," Amezcua said. “I have nothing against him. If anything, I forgive him for what he did."

Amezcua is feeling better and will make a full recovery.

Burciaga is being held on $500,000 bail. His next court appearance is scheduled for May 17.