Home / Dallas News / Man accused of brutal attack in downtown Dallas garage back in jail on federal charge

Man accused of brutal attack in downtown Dallas garage back in jail on federal charge

A Laredo man who twice bonded out of the Dallas County jail after being accused of brutally assaulting a woman in a downtown Dallas parking garage is now in federal custody.

David Cadena
David Cadena(Kaufman County Sheriff’s Office)

David Cadena, 25, made his initial appearance in federal court Tuesday after being charged with carjacking. He also faces state counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and aggravated robbery in connection with the Sept. 21 attack.

Dallas Fire-Rescue responded around 3:30 a.m. that day to a crash in the garage in the 2000 block of Jackson Street. Emergency workers found Cadena in the driver’s seat of a 2015 Toyota Corolla and called police when he became combative, according to his arrest-warrant affidavit.

When officers arrived, some emergency responders were helping garage security restrain Cadena while others were treating a woman for “severe face and head injuries,” officials said. Cadena and the interior of the vehicle — the woman’s Toyota — were covered in the contents of a fire extinguisher.

Authorities say that Cadena walked into the garage several minutes after the woman, who worked at a restaurant at The Statler hotel and was returning to her car after going to a nearby bar with co-workers.

He took a fire extinguisher off a concrete pillar, sprayed it and took the elevator down to the level where the woman had parked her car, where he attacked her with the extinguisher, authorities allege.

Cadena then drove off in the woman’s car, which contained her purse and cellphone, and crashed into a wall on an upper level of the garage, police said.

He appeared to be “heavily intoxicated” and was taken to Parkland Memorial Hospital for evaluation, police said. Officers did not speak to him at that time because of his level of intoxication.

The garage, which is open to the public, is used mostly by employees of The Statler and The Dallas Morning News.

Cadena was arrested on a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and released from custody the following day after posting $20,000 bond.

Authorities later rearrested Cadena on the aggravated robbery charge, and he posted $25,000 bond.

In a written statement Wednesday, U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox said that violent offenders should not be released from custody if they continue to pose a danger.

“In this instance, a violent defendant was released not once, but twice, after posting minor bonds,” she said. “The citizens of Dallas deserve a better system — one that fairly detains individuals who pose significant danger to their victims and to the public. The U.S. Attorney’s Office is determined to hold Mr. Cadena accountable for his brutal crime — and to keep him detained pending trial.”

Cadena was being held at the Kaufman County jail Wednesday.

Court records from Webb County show that Cadena was charged in 2014 with two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He was sentenced to three years of probation in a plea agreement, and the charges were dismissed after he completed his probation.

The victim in the September attack, 27-year-old Jonna King, had severe bruising to her face and head, as well as nerve damage in her arms and legs from the beating.

King told WFAA-TV (Channel 8) earlier this month that she had never seen Cadena until he pulled her out of her car and doesn’t know why he attacked her.

“It’s just weird to think that you would look at a complete stranger and say, ‘You. That’s what I’m going to do,'” she said.

She told the station that she was hospitalized for five days after the attack — and spent two of them in a coma. She said that more than a month later, she still has visible bruises and concussion-like symptoms and has not been able to return to work.

“It has been a very traumatic experience,” King told WFAA, adding that Cadena’s ability to bond out of custody made her feel “victimized more than once.”

GoFundMe account to help with King’s medical expenses has raised more than $40,000.

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