Trial ordered for man accused of trying to run down woman, boyfriend

A man accused of using his car to try to run down an acquaintance and her boyfriend was ordered to stand trial on attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon charges.

EL CAJON, Calif. — A man accused of using his car to try to run down an acquaintance and her boyfriend was ordered Monday to stand trial on attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon charges.

David William Dunkel, 38, was arrested June 2, along with 29-year-old Michelle Louise Bergen.

El Cajon police were dispatched about 1:20 p.m. that day to East Madison Avenue and North First Street after several 911 callers reported a vehicle striking a pedestrian. Once at the scene, investigators determined the crash “was a deliberate act,” said El Cajon police Lt. Jason Taub.

Bergen got out of a white Dodge station wagon prior to the crash and confronted an El Cajon woman, who was a prior acquaintance of some kind, Taub alleged.

Bergen allegedly assaulted the woman before getting back into the car, which police believe Dunkel was driving.

As the victim ran away with her boyfriend, “Dunkel then deliberately drove his vehicle onto the sidewalk in the 1100 block of East Madison Avenue, striking the boyfriend of the original assault victim,” Taub alleged. “The female assault victim was able to avoid being hit by the vehicle.”

Footage from the scene showed that the white Dodge station wagon sustained significant front-end damage after crashing into a light pole.

Dunkel, Bergen and the man allegedly struck by their car were all taken by paramedics to hospitals with moderate injuries, Taub said.

El Cajon Superior Court Judge Herbert Exarhos determined that enough evidence was presented at Dunkel’s preliminary hearing for him to proceed to trial on two counts each of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon, and one count each of robbery and intimidating a witness.

Bergen had a felony charge of assault with force likely to result in great bodily injury reduced to a misdemeanor.

Dunkel will be back in court Dec. 4.