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Man arrested on felony gun charges

Tense moments lead to arrest inside Rainbow Market in Canyon Country

Posted: September 1, 2009 10:45 a.m.
Updated: September 1, 2009 10:45 a.m.
A known criminal street gang member is behind bars today facing serious felony criminal charges thanks to the efforts of a proactive Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station deputy who put his life on the line to protect our community.

The deputy was patrolling in the area of Golden Triangle Road and Rainbow Glen Drive in Canyon Country when he spotted two males illegally walking in the roadway. The two males were walking toward a group of other suspected gang members on Rainbow Glen and the deputy could see one of the males was using both hands to hold something inside his waistband.

The deputy ordered both men to stop and one of them complied but the other ignored the deputy and continued walking away toward the Rainbow Market, 26970 Rainbow Glen Drive.

The deputy again ordered the man to stop, but he refused and the deputy could see he was now holding an apparent gun in his waistband as he entered into the market.

The deputy immediately followed the suspect into the store and the man ran one complete circle inside the store while turning his back to the deputy.

The deputy continued to give orders for several tense moments while holding the suspect at gunpoint and requesting backup.

At one point the suspect pulled the gun from his waistband as he rounded the store aisle, putting it at his right side and ignoring the deputies orders to drop it.

The suspect pressed the magazine release on the gun, dropping a loaded magazine from the gun onto the floor. With his back turned to the deputy the suspect wrapped the gun in a rag he was carrying and attempted to hide it near a store display, all while the deputy held him at gunpoint and continued to give orders.

The suspect, Gerardo Vargas, 18, of Canyon Country, ultimately surrendered to the deputy without further incident and was taken into custody. Fortunately no one was hurt. The gun and loaded magazine were recovered. A check of the gun revealed it was stolen.

The suspect was booked at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station on felony charges of possession of a deadly weapon with intent to commit a felony, carrying a concealed firearm, carrying a stolen frearm, exhibiting a weapon to a peace officer, and receiving stolen property.

Vargas is being held in lieu of $35,000 bail pending future court proceedings.


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