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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 amanojaku on 3/17/2014 11:22:28 AM , Rating: 1
The legal definition of assault is the threat to cause bodily harm plus the ability to carry out that threat. He had an argument with someone, shot a few rounds into the ground with a semiautomatic (there were people around), then went outside and shot a few more rounds (there were more people around). Without hearing more details, that could fit a broad definition of assault with a deadly weapon.

At the very least, he'll be hit with reckless endangerment and/or criminal negligence. Remember, this is California, home of the Chicken Littles, not Alaska, where even the mamma grizzlies pack heat. Any excuse will be used to get his license revoked, even if it means trumping up the charges. If shooting in self-defense could still result in losing your license then he can't justify shooting to let off some steam.


RE: wtf?
By DanNeely on 3/17/2014 11:45:53 AM , Rating: 5
Even in the gun friendly US South this idiot would be toast. Firing a gun is legally the use of deadly force, even if you were only firing a warning shot. The use of deadly force is only permitted if you're in fear of imminent harm to yourself or others. However the act of firing anywhere other than at the person who is making the threat indicates that the threat wasn't imminent, which in turn means that your firing the gun isn't legally justified.


RE: wtf?
By retrospooty on 3/17/2014 12:01:25 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed, and and if he was gone when the cops arrived an arrest warrant should have been issued, like you would expect would happen. How did this get on the "most wanted" list?


RE: wtf?
By chmilz on 3/17/14, Rating: 0
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