MEAD VALLEY — Riverside County sheriff’s deputies shot at a burglary suspect who aimed a rifle at their helicopter Sunday, and eventually arrested him during a brief altercation.
David Gregory Yates, 49, of Mead Valley was booked on suspicion of burglary, assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer, and a parole violation, according to a sheriff’s department press release made public Tuesday.
A short fight ended when deputies subdued Yates with a taser dart. He was treated at a local hospital for that injury, sheriff’s officials said.
A deputy aboard the department’s Star 9 helicopter fired a shot that missed Yates when the suspect briefly raised a firearm in the helicopter’s direction, the release said.
“The suspect armed himself with an unknown-type rifle and pointed it at the circling helicopter, but instead the suspect lowered the weapon and pointed it at deputies,” the release said. “One deputy fired one round, missing the suspect who fell to the ground.”
According to the release, the incident began around 10:20 a.m. Sunday, when Perris station deputies answered a call on a possible burglary underway in the 22800 block of Jantar Lane. Arriving deputies spotted the suspect, who was also seen by the Star 9 crew, which began coordinating with the ground patrols.
Deputies told the man to drop his weapon on several occasions before he pointed it at them. One deputy fired a round that missed, but the man fell to the ground, according to the release. He was then subdued by the Taser dart.
Department spokesman Sgt. Joe Borja said the shot that was fired was “not a warning shot. Warning shots are not our policy.”
According to Borja, the victims were home at the time of the burglary “and they were scared.” The property reportedly stolen by Yates was returned to it owners, though the spokesman noted “it was damaged.”
The deputy involved in the shooting was placed on administrative leave, a department policy, while the incident is investigated.
Mead Valley, which is located near Perris in an unincorporated portion of Riverside County, is covered by that community’s sheriff’s department.