The man arrested after 5-hour standoff with police in Santa Clarita is being charged with assault with a deadly weapon. According to reports, police responded to a domestic disturbance call at the 15000 block of Poppy Meadow at 1:05 am. Witnesses state that the disturbance began with an argument. As the argument got more intense, the suspect allegedly pointed a shotgun at the victims and began threatening them and demanding that they get out of the house. Fearing for their lives, the two left the home and called police.
When police arrived, they believed that the suspect was still inside the home, though he was not answering any calls to the residence or to his cell phone. The suspect continued to ignore announcements made over the police PA, as well as attempted contact by SWAT team members. Eventually, at 6:40 am, the suspect exited the home on his own and surrendered peacefully to police. Two children, a 10-year-old girl and 13-year-old boy were still in the home throughout the ordeal, and it is unknown as to whether or not they were asleep.
Assault with a deadly weapon is covered under California Penal Code 245(a)(1) PC and is described as either an assault that is committed with a deadly weapon or with force great enough to cause great bodily harm. An assault in California is described as doing something that is likely to result in an act of force being inflicted on someone else. In the case above, pointing the shotgun at family members constituted doing something that is likely to result in an act of force being inflicted on someone else. The act does not necessarily have to take place, and nobody has to actually be injured for assault charges to be pressed. If someone is hit or injured, that usually results in chargers of battery.
Assault with a deadly weapon is a “wobbler” that can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances of the case. If charged as a misdemeanor, the possible penalties include 1 year in county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. Since the weapon was a firearm, the jail time will be at least 6 months. For felonies, the possible penalties include 2 to 4 years in California state prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.