Prosecutors, citing a lack of evidence, have tossed out the case against a 47-year-old man accused of threatening his family with a shotgun and sparking a five-hour standoff with local sheriff’s deputies.
Marc Spitzer was arrested Sunday on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, namely a firearm. On Friday, prosecutors revealed they have dropped the criminal case against him.
“The case was declined for insufficient evidence,” Shiara Davila-Morales, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said Friday morning.
Spitzer admits he owns a firearm but said there was no threat and when he emerged from his home on Poppy Meadow Street at the end of a five-hour standoff, he said he had just woken up from a deep sleep inside his recently sound-proofed home. He no longer stands accused of anything.
“I was sleeping,” he told The Signal Friday.
And, if anyone was to blame for what transpired on Sunday in an otherwise quiet suburban neighborhood east of Sand Canyon then you can blame the barking dog next door, Spitzer said.
“This dog barks all night long,” he said.
“When my father was dying of cancer, I went over there,” he said about efforts to stop the dog from barking.
“My wife went over there and told him (the neighbor) your dogs are keeping us awake,” Spitzer said.
After negotiated efforts to resolve concerns about the barking dogs went unresolved, Spitzer decided to take action of his own.
“I soundproofed this house with triple pane windows,” he said.
On the day of the standoff, Spitzer said he had an argument with his wife and that he “kicked her out” of the house – not physically, not at gunpoint – but with heated words exchanged between a married couple.
Then Spitzer, who said he was “dead tired,” had a “couple of glasses of wine,” turned on his “white noise” machine that plays lulling sounds of ocean surf and went to bed inside his triple-paned soundproofed bedroom.
He did not hear his brother-in-law knocking at the front door, he said. He did not hear heavily-armed SWAT deputies using a bullhorn to get his attention, he said.
“He (brother-in-law) was knocking at the front door but I didn’t hear it,” Spitzer said.
And, if there was a dog barking next door, he did not hear that either.
His sound sleep, his subsequent arrest and his court case now tossed out by prosecutors, however, have resulted in media outlets reporting on the incident.
“And, my work has placed me on administrative leave,” Spitzer said. “It’s a nightmare.”
Spitzer’s “nightmare” began shortly after 1 a.m. Sunday when his wife and sister-in-law became so afraid that they left the location and called the sheriff’s department, a spokesman for the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station said at the time of the standoff.
Spitzer claims it was actually his brother-in-law who made the call to the sheriff’s station.
“The informant on the call stated that during an argument, the suspect had produced a firearm and threatened the family members,” Sgt. Brian Hudson told The Signal Sunday.
Hudson said they were so scared that they left their family members at the residence—a 10-year-old girl and a 13-year-old boy.
Asked why his kids didn’t wake him up during the standoff, Spitzer said: “They were sleeping too.”
The informant, the wife of the suspect, said that her husband had told her to leave at the point of a shotgun, Hudson said.
When law enforcement arrived on scene, they had reason to believe that the suspect, identified at the time only as a 47-year-old man, was still in the home.
“He did not respond to any phone calls (made to) the residence or his cell phone,” Hudson said.
“We did PA announcements, calling him to come out of the location. He did not respond to those, so we notified our crisis negotiation team and our special bureau, which is our SWAT Team.”
The crisis negotiation team attempted several times to contact the suspect, but no response was given.
The suspect never made any demands or threats to law enforcement. He just didn’t acknowledge them.
“Eventually at 6:40 a.m. this morning, he came out of the residence on his own,” Hudson said.
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