Thursday, January 24, 2008

Two arrested in airsoft gun shooting incident

Two people were arrested Sunday night after a man reported that he was following a reckless driver near Payson when someone in the car fired a gun at him, according to the Utah County Sheriff's Office. Two arrested in airsoft gun shooting incident

Sheriff's Office spokesman Sgt. Spencer Cannon said that the airsoft gun fired from the car was an Airsoft pellet gun, and the victim was originally following the shooter's green Cadillac Escalade because its occupants owed him money. When the victim pulled closer to the Cadillac to write down its license number so he could report the driver for reckless driving, the driver stopped and began shooting, the victim told police.
"The complainant actually knew the three suspects and there had been some type of argument over a debt," a press release from the sheriff's office stated.

The victim called 911 to report that he was being chased by a reckless driver. A Santaquin police officer pulled the alleged shooter over near the Payson landfill, around 11300 South and 6000 West, Cannon said. When the Cadillac pulled over, one of the passengers jumped out of the vehicle and fled on foot.

The Utah County Metro SWAT team was called to the scene, and a sheriff's office aircraft helped search the area with infrared cameras. Police found the suspect after about an hour and a half, Cannon said.

The victim believed he was being fired at with an actual handgun, but police found an airsoft pellet gun instead. Cannon said officers also found a substance that tested positive for cocaine.

The driver of the Cadillac, 22-year-old Jorge Sinderos, of Provo, was booked into the Utah County Jail on charges of aggravated assault, possession of cocaine, intoxication, reckless driving and no driver's license.

"By statute, if he'd have been firing with a real gun he would've been charged with attempted homicide," Cannon said of Sinderos. "The victim believed it to be a real gun. That makes it aggravated assault, a third-degree felony."

Alberto Vasquez-Javier, 28, of Payson, was charged with failure to stop for police, and was also arrested on an outstanding warrant for contempt of court from the Utah County Justice Court. A third occupant of the vehicle was not arrested or charged with any crimes.

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