On Monday, June 14th, a Washington resident was driving north from an event in Southern California when he hit something on I-5 near Gorman that damaged his vehicle. It’s reported that the driver of the vehicle first got into an altercation with a big rig driver before heading into Gorman to find a mechanic. The mechanic the suspect found happened to be closing up for the day and refused to work on the suspect’s car immediately, instead saying that he would work on it the next day. The suspect, wearing a gun on his hip, is alleged to have pulled the weapon in a threatening manner.
When police arrived, the suspect claimed to have a license to carry a weapon in Washington – which he did. Unfortunately, in Southern California, it’s illegal to walk around with a gun on your hip, as well as using a weapon to threaten someone. He was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and carrying a loaded firearm in public.
Assault with a deadly weapon is covered under California Penal Code 245a1 PC and is described as attacking, or attempting to attack, someone with a deadly weapon or by means likely to cause great bodily injury. The crime can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances of the case and the defendant’s prior criminal history. Under the law, a “deadly weapon” is described as any type of weapon or object which is capable of producing death or great bodily injury.
The potential misdemeanor penalties include misdemeanor probation, up to 1 year in county jail, and/or a fine of up to $1,000. Felony charges are punishable by felony probation, a state prison sentence of up to four years, and a maximum fine of up to $10,000. Since the weapon involved in the case was a firearm, the suspect faces a minimum six months in jail if convicted.