Friends jump gunman to save woman

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Friends who watched in horror this past weekend as a woman was dragged off by her gun-wielding ex-boyfriend, rallied to her defense despite shots allegedly being fired, thwarting what local sheriff’s deputies initially called a kidnapping.

Despite the struggle and at least two shots fired from a semi-automatic handgun, no one was reported hurt in the incident.

Deputies with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station were dispatched to house on the 27000 block of Elk Ridge Road in Castaic Saturday afternoon, after a woman called to report her ex-boyfriend.

“The victim reported her ex-boyfriend forced his way into her house demanding she leave with him,” Shirley Miller, sheriff’s spokeswoman told The Signal Wednesday.

“When confronted by the victim’s friends, the suspect produced a handgun from his waistband and fired a round into the ceiling,” she said.

The woman’s friends – four men – watched as the woman was dragged from the house on Elk Ridge, near Redwood Way.

“The suspect forced the victim outside and the victim’s friends followed,” she said. “Once outside, the suspect fired another round from the handgun into the air.”

“At some point during the incident, the suspect put the gun back into his waistband at which point the victim’s friends subdued the suspect and took the gun away,” Miller said.

Deputies arrested the suspected gunman as he tried to leave the scene.

“In this crime, there was one female victim and four male victims,” Lt. Ignacio Somoano, who runs the sheriff’s Detective Section, told The Signal Wednesday.

“The case was presented to the District Attorney’s office today and 16 charges were filed against the suspect,” he said.

Jameson Brooks Witty, 21, of Canyon Country, was arrested by deputies on suspicion of kidnapping.

Once prosecutors reviewed the case, however, they charged Witty instead with: one count of residential burglary with a person present and while armed with a handgun; five counts of assault with a semiautomatic handgun; five counts of criminal threats while armed with a handgun; two counts of negligent discharge of a firearm; one count of felony vandalism; one felony count of possession of an unregistered firearm and one misdemeanor count of domestic battery.

“We are asking for $870,000 bail,” Ricardo Santiago, spokesman for the DA’s office said Wednesday.

“His maximum sentence would be more than 35 years in state prison,” Santiago said.

Witty was transferred to the Men’s Central Jail in Los Angeles, with bail initially set at $100,000, according to arrest records.

He remains scheduled to appear in San Fernando Superior Court.


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