Ventura County – 28-year-old James Carlton, an apartment dweller in Simi Valley, apparently likes to keep busy with his hobbies…one of which is playing around with explosives.
Evidence of that came in the pre-dawn hours of June 10th, when Carlton’s neighbors—sharing a common apartment wall—knocked on his door to complain about the “loud banging” emanating from his living unit. Carlton’s response was, according to Ventura County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Det. Michelle Kristol, hardly what the neighbor expected: Carolton “pointed a firearm” directly at the complainer and then retreated back into his own apartment.
The neighbor, apparently concerned that such an unfriendly response to a reasonable request might become a serious problem later in the day, called 911 Emergency to report the incident. Responding deputies had difficulty making contact with Carlton, who initially refused to answer his door. Some time later, he “exited the residence displaying the firearm”, which is not usually recommended when initially facing uniformed deputies. With what could only be described as considerable apparent restraint, deputies took Carlton “safely into custody without further incident,” whereupon his firearm was determined to be an airsoft pistol. Both Carlton’s parents were inside the living space with Carlton during the incident, and presumably watched their son as he was trundled off to jail.
Pursuant to those events, however, detectives obtained and executed a search warrant of Carlton’s residence, which led to the discovery of an improvised explosive device and the immediate evacuation of the entire residential area surrounding the apartment building. The IED was then rendered safe by the VCSD Bomb Squad.
Carlton is held at Ventura County Jail, where he was booked on charges of making threats, brandishing a weapon, false imprisonment, and possession of an explosive device.