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Man allegedly fired his gun into the ground near people he was arguing with

A California man named Christopher Viatafa got a little more than he bargained for after performing a simple Google search. Perhaps out of boredom, Viatafa decided to Google himself only to find that he was on the “most wanted” criminals website in his area.
 
Viatafa found himself on the wrong side of the law after an August 2013 incident in which he got into an argument outside a senior center. Following the argument, he “pulled out a semi-automatic handgun and fired a few rounds into the ground near the people," according to a police statement.
 
Viatafa went about his daily routine for the next seven months unbeknownst to the fact that he was on Northern California's Most Wanted website.



Captured? He turned himself in...
 
When he found that he was listed on the site, he promptly turned himself into the police. "Although it wasn't good judgment that landed him on the website, he did used good judgment to turn himself in after seeing his photo," San Leandro Police said in a statement.
 
Viatafa has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon and listed as a captured fugitive.
 
"The website played an important part in his apprehension," said police. "[It] has been a valuable tool for both law enforcement and the public in finding criminals."

Sources: ABC News, The Independent, Northern California Regional Intelligence Center



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RE: wtf?
By retrospooty on 3/17/2014 11:15:44 AM , Rating: 5
Looks like a bit blown out of proportion. So lets assume the guy was threatening with a gun and fired it into the ground. OK, against the law, arrest warrant, and cops visit his door to investigate, and do whatever the law dictates they do... But on the state's "most wanted" list? CA is a huge state, the most populated in the US with 38 million people. There are wealthy areas, poverty stricken areas and everything in between, there are many high crime areas, murders etc as you would expect any place with 38 million people to have. To be on the "most wanted" list for firing a gun into the ground is beyond ridiculous.


RE: wtf?
By niva on 3/17/2014 2:01:25 PM , Rating: 2
The firing of the gun is a separate charge. Assault was the moment he threatened with the gun.

Imagine yourself in an argument with someone who takes out a gun. Pretend you're not in Florida or Texas where this is the start of World War 3. The threat of use of the gun is a pretty extreme thing...

That being said, the fact that this places someone on the top of the most wanted list is crazy. Also the fact that the police couldn't capture this guy shows how hard they're working at it, the guy turned himself in. Hope he gets off lightly and doesn't do anything that silly again.


RE: wtf?
By Samus on 3/18/2014 2:23:19 AM , Rating: 2
Criminals like this should be treated with a lot more leniency than other criminals because it would set a good example, and to not be more lenient sets a bad precedent.

Obviously nobody here is condoning what he did, but in all fairness, it sounds like what he did was more of a public disturbance than assault. Assault's if you point a gun at somebody, and it sounds like he simply scared somebody off.


RE: wtf?
By ammaross on 3/19/2014 9:22:03 AM , Rating: 3
I think the point you're missing is that the police put him on the most wanted list, however, he was doing his normal routine for NINE MONTHS. Wouldn't the police at least check his place of employment? Last known address? Talk to relatives? Surely someone who was just going about their day-to-day would be easy to find. Granted, he also could have been unemployed, living with a friend, and had no vehicle.


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