Transient arrested for assault following copper wiring theft
Encinitas – A 43-year old transient was arrested for robbery and grand theft following an altercation with a homeowner.
Chuck Neil, 43 of Escondido, was arrested around 5 a.m. on October 20 following an altercation on the property of homeowner Fred Weston, 62 on La Costa Avenue in Encinitas. Weston told police that his security alarm was set off around 5 a.m. and went to investigate what triggered the alarm.
Weston told police his property had been burglarized several times in the past few months. Thieves stole copper wiring in those thefts, which led him to install the alarm system.
While walking his one-acre property armed with a shotgun, Weston spotted Neil. He ordered the trespasser to walk toward the gate and off the property.
As they approached the gate, Weston told police that Neil turned and grabbed his shotgun by the barrel, causing him to discharge the weapon into the air. During the struggle, Neil punched Weston In the face several times, breaking his nose, and pinned him to the ground using the shotgun barrel to choke him.
Weston’s wife and their 19-year old son Joseph saw the fight on surveillance cameras and went down to help Weston.
Joseph, equipped with a Taser, deployed it on Neil after he refused to release Weston. This disabled the suspect. Then the family tied him up using a belt and called police, who arrested Weston for robbery and grand theft. The elder Weston was treated at a local hospital for a broken nose and multiple cuts and scrapes and released.