Courts

Wozniak extradited to Poland, will face court in 2007 killing

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Elk Grove resident Dawid Wozniak was extradited to Poland last month, marking the final step in a lengthy battle by US prosecutors to get him back to the Ciechanow region to face court for allegedly killing a man in 2007 when he was 16.

Wozniak was moved out of the Sacramento County Jail on August 24th. A lawyer who worked his extradition case downtown confirmed in an email several days later that he had been flown out of the US, and back to Poland, by the State Department.

The lawyers had argued at extradition proceedings that Wozniak was improperly charged as an adult and said the investigation was a result of “sloppy police work” that hampered their clients rights. Federal Magistrate Kendall J. Newman knocked down their arguments, ruling that any objections with regards to evidence would have to be resolved in Poland.

A warrant for Wozniak’s arrest and request for extradition was originally furnished to the State Department under Hillary Clinton in 2011, but administrative issues with extradition paperwork delayed the publication of a complaint in the Eastern District to February of 2022. Wozniak was finally picked up at his home by US Marshals and was held in detention ever since.

Prosecutors in Poland said Wozniak and four friends, after binge-drinking three liters of Vodka earlier in the night, stopped at a shopping center in Grudusk on Christmas Eve in 2007 without a specific purpose.

Once they arrived, Wozniak got out of his car, removed a large wooden stick from the trunk, and walked over to another parked car. Without reason, prosecutors say, he opened the door and attempted to drag an elderly man out of the car.

“His behavior was very aggressive,” Senior Court Secretary Urszula Nawrocka wrote in the request. “Mariusz Kozlowski intervened during this incident and pulled Dawid Tomasz Wozniak away from that place.”

Wozniak abruptly turned and began to walk down the street, making a beeline for a group of three friends waiting outside of an apartment complex for their fourth friend, who was getting her hat and gloves. Wozniak abruptly struck the man in the group, Syzmon Rutkowski, with a stick. Wozniak’s friend, Marek Szymanski, kicked the man in the chest as he fell to the ground.

As the duo were beating Szymanski, another man, Andrezj Malinowski, walked up and asked Wozniak what he wanted from the man.

“What are you doing?” Malinowski asked. “Leave him alone!”

Wozniak then turned on him, whacking him in the head with the stick, which caused him to fall on his back. Wozniak and Szymanski promptly ran, got back into their cars, and drove out of Grudusk.

Malinowski was able to walk home with assistance from passerby, but later died at the hospital in Ciechanow due to skull and brain injuries including swelling. Szymanski was convicted and sentenced to three years in 2008 for complicity in the beating after implicating Wozniak in an interrogation and on the stand.

Wozniak’s extradition marks the first of the year out of Sacramento’s federal court. The apparent next-in-line is Jose Martinez Santoyo, a truck driver from Sutter charged with fatally shooting a man outside of a Mexican pool hall in 2013.

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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