Courts

Mechanic held in jail pending extradition in Poland killing

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A man living in Elk Grove, accused of beating a man to death in Poland as a teenager, will be held in custody at the Sacramento County Jail until he’s extradited.

Dawid Wozniak’s lawyers provided several character letters, certificates, and degrees addressed to their client in an effort to persuade a federal judge to let him out of jail. Magistrate Kendall J. Newman on Friday was unable to be convinced, according to court records.

According to Cal Fire Battalion Chief Jon Heggie, Wozniak contracted with CalFire under government partner Amentum. According to Heggie, Wozniak’s lawyers incorrectly described him as having worked for CalFire directly in a motion for bail review.

“Mr. Wozniak is employed as an aviation mechanic for Cal Fire Department of Forestry and Fire Protection,” Joseph Abrams wrote. “Mr. Wozniak and his colleagues at Cal Fire are dedicated and indispensable servants in the fire protection of California and the emergency services that they provide.”

According to his legal team, supervisors, and family members, Wozniak is an “honest, hardworking, and devoted family man” with ties to his community and no chance of a flight risk.

“It’s unimaginable to think that Mr. Wozniak would flee after working so hard, for so long, to obtain so much,” Abrams said. “Or that he would willingly return to a country seeking his extradition – a country where he has few remaining ties, and which is located near a war zone and the center of a refugee crises.”

Two of Wozniak’s supervisors at Cal Fire described him as a “gracious citizen” and a “man of excellent character” who built professional and personal relationships with both.

“I have always known Dawid to be a very talented young man driven by success, family, and always rejected failure,” Chief Quality Control Inspector Jesse Potswald wrote in a letter

Prosecutors said that nothing in Wozniak’s life suggests that he should overcome the federal court’s presumption against releasing defendants scheduled for extradition.

“Woźniak’s claim that he has led a reformed life in the United States is simply insufficient to meet his burden of proof where the alleged facts are as extreme as those presented in this case,” AUSA Audrey Hemesath wrote in a brief.

Wozniak, now 30, has allegedly been ducking Polish officials since his initial arrest at 16 in the killing of Andrezj Malinowski, who died of “irreversible destruction” caused to his brain by being kicked and beat with a wooden stick in the country’s Grudusk village 60 miles out from Warsaw.

According to police, Wozniak brutally attacked Malinowski in a drunken rampage on Christmas Eve as he tried to stop the then-teen from attacking a random person waiting for a friend outside of their house.

Wozniak allegedly beat the man in the head with a wooden stick as a friend kicked him. Minutes before, he attacked another pedestrian and attempted to drag an unidentified man out of his car, according to prosecutors. He’s only been charged in relation to the death of Malinowski.

Lawyers for Wozniak and the federal government are scheduled to present opening briefs next month, with the man’s extradition scheduled for June.

Ethan Biando
Ethan Biando is a freelance journalist from Sacramento. His writing focuses on crime, courts, and policing. Find him on Twitter @ethanb822

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