Deputies: Suspect, pellet rifle found in homeless encampment

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The man arrested on suspicion of firing a pellet gun at deputies Monday allegedly hid the weapon in his tent at a nearby homeless encampment.  

At approximately 6:37 p.m. Monday, an off-duty detective reported seeing a man walking eastbound on Soledad Canyon Road and Camp Plenty Road in Canyon Country carrying a rifle, according to Deputy Natalie Arriaga, a spokeswoman for the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.  

“The male was last seen entering the brush area north of Soledad Canyon Road,” said Arriaga. “As deputies were preparing to conduct a sweep of the brush area, they heard the sound of metal being struck.” 

Officials at the time of the incident said they had been standing near their vehicle and heard the sound of pellets striking the vehicle. Unsure of whether the pellets were aimed at them, an emergency response was called for.  

“Deputies learned the off-duty detective’s vehicle had been struck by a high-velocity object, causing damage,” said Arriaga. “Deputies conducted a search of a nearby homeless encampment and located a male matching the suspect description.” 

Deputies then reportedly entered the suspect’s tent and found a pellet rifle inside, according to Arriaga.  

“The male was positively identified as the suspect during a field identification,” said Arriaga. “The suspect was booked for assault with a deadly weapon, assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer and felony vandalism.” 

The 38-year-old transient, who had not been identified by officials as of Tuesday, was booked at the SCV Sheriff’s Station and held in lieu of $100,000 bail, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department arrest logs.  

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