Same suspect, same home: Standoff echoes 2016 incident 

Sheriff's deputies established a containment in response to a barricaded suspect who was reported to be seen carrying a machete near Canyon Springs Elementary School on Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024. Habeba Mostafa/The Signal
Sheriff's deputies established a containment in response to a barricaded suspect who was reported to be seen carrying a machete near Canyon Springs Elementary School on Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024. Habeba Mostafa/The Signal
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Sheriff’s Department officials identified the man they arrested after an hourslong standoff Thursday, who was involved in a similar standoff scenario at the same residence nearly eight years ago, according to previous Signal reports.  

Carl Pruett, a 65-year-old Canyon Country man, was in custody Friday on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon against a first responder, according to Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station officials.  

A station official said a witness called in a report of a man carrying a machete near Canyon Springs Community Elementary School on Vicci Street around 2:15 p.m. Sheriff’s Department arrest records later identified the man as Carl Pruett. 

Deputies responded to the “suspicious person” call and initiated contact with Pruett, at which point deputies reported the suspect became combative, swung the weapon at deputies and fled the scene, according to Deputy Richard Farkas of the SCV Sheriff’s Station.  

The campus was placed in a hard lockdown in response to the report, according to Sulphur Springs Union School District Superintendent Catherine Kawaguchi. She confirmed Thursday no students were injured and there was no threat to the campus. 

As a precaution, deputies stayed on campus and supervised the dismissal of students to their waiting parents around 3:45 p.m. 

By this point, a containment was well under way in the 27400 block of Plumwood Avenue, across the street from the elementary school, where Pruett was believed to be living.  

The county Sheriff’s Department’s Special Enforcement Bureau responded to the standoff situation and Pruett was ultimately transported from the scene in an ambulance he was loaded into around 8:30 p.m., according to reports from the scene. Officials did not release any information regarding any injuries sustained at the scene by the suspect.  

Arrest records available online report he was taken into custody at 11 p.m. Thursday and then booked at the SCV Sheriff’s Station at 12:05 a.m. Friday. 

He’s being held at the SCV Sheriff’s Station in lieu of $105,000 bail, as of the publication of this story. He is scheduled to be in court Monday in San Fernando. 

Court and media records indicated he had lost a son who was a Canyon High School student to a heart attack in 2009. Nicholas Wayne Pruett died at age 14 while jogging in Granada Hills with his grandmother, according to a March 2009 Signal story on a memorial for the boy. He suffered heart failure on a Tuesday afternoon and was rushed to the hospital where doctors were unable to save him.  

Court records and Signal archives indicate Carl Wayne Pruett has since had several run-ins with local law enforcement that resulted in several arrests. 

He was cited and released Aug. 22, 2022, for a misdemeanor charge. He was arrested again Nov. 18 and again Dec. 10 of that same year.  
He was arrested again Jan. 3, 2023, and ultimately charged with a misdemeanor for obstructing a peace officer. Court records indicate a warrant was issued March 1 in that case. He was arrested again Nov. 15 on suspicion of a misdemeanor, but the charge is not known. He was released that same day.  

His previous standoff with local law enforcement officials happened Oct. 25, 2016. In that incident, some of the details were similar to what happened this week, including the presence of the Special Enforcement Bureau and the evacuation of neighbors from their homes. 

On that day, sheriff’s detectives were serving an arrest warrant at the Canyon Country home where a man surrendered after a “chemical agent” was released in the home, a spokesman for the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station said. 

The 2016 standoff began about 5:30 a.m. on the same block, when deputies tried to serve an arrest warrant, a deputy told The Signal at the time. 

Detectives called in the Special Enforcement Bureau team to assist them with “a high-risk warrant at the location,” according to a posting at the time on the sheriff’s Facebook page. 

Pruett was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping and assault with a deadly weapon, according to sheriff’s officials at the time. 

His previous case from 2016 ultimately was referred to Department 95, which handles cases involving questions about the suspect’s mental health. 

A representative for the DA’s Office shared the minute order from a probation violation hearing Pruett faced July 22, 2020, when he was sentenced to 32 months in prison for July 2018 charges of DUI and evading arrest. He was also given a one-year sentence for the original incident that led to the October 2016 standoff, which involved charges of assault with a firearm on a person and false imprisonment.  

At the time of his 2020 sentencing hearing for the previous violation, he was given credit for 1,418 days served, reported as 85 days in a mental health facility, plus 667 actual days and 666 days for “good time/work time,” according to a minute order shared by prosecutors.  

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