A California man who was caught on video pummeling a sheriff’s deputy and shooting at her with her own gun in 2019 was found not guilty of attempted murder and other charges by a jury, with the victim saying the decision sets a bad precedent for law enforcement.
Former San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Deputy Meagan McCarthy was the closest law enforcement officer when a frantic 911 call came in from a mother, pleading with dispatch for help and for someone to save her from her own son.
McCarthy rushed to the home and saw a man with “clenched fists” who came outside and then made a “beeline” in her direction as she got out of her patrol vehicle. Behind him was his mother, with a knife in her hand and still on the phone with dispatch.
“The 911 call came out for an unknown problem, which basically means there’s something going on, we just don’t know,” McCarthy told Fox News Digital. “So, the woman on the other end says to dispatch, ‘Oh, my God, oh, my God! Get my son out of here.’ And she kind of goes quietly on the line. That prompts a priority 1 response, which means somebody needs to get there right now.”
McCarthy was the first deputy to arrive at the house and the suspect, Ari Young, looked “very angry,” she said. Video taken on a neighbor’s cellphone shows he started pummeling her in the face. He then beat her to the ground, seized her gun and began firing shots in her direction. Her injuries included a broken thumb and a black eye.
“Based on my training and experience, it was easy to infer that something was going on,” McCarthy recalled of her initial arrival. “People don’t just arm themselves against their son with a knife for no reason, and the fact that she had already made these statements to dispatch was just awful.”
The deputy approached Young and attempted to calm the situation and pat him down.
“Thirteen seconds into our interaction, he told me, ‘I will headbutt the f— out of you,'” she recalled. “So, I knew his intentions weren’t going to be of compliance.”
Video shows that he punched her repeatedly, the two struggled for a gun, and he fired multiple shots after taking it. McCarthy told Fox News Digital on Wednesday that she had only survived because the gun jammed the first time he pulled the trigger, aiming directly at her face.
Young’s defense attorney, however, argued that McCarthy had no lawful reason to do what she was doing, and therefore his client was acting in self-defense.
Raj Malin, the defense lawyer, told Los Angeles’ ABC 7 that McCarthy did not have reasonable suspicion to justify patting down his schizophrenic client when she arrived on scene.
“The issue was, was the initial detention of Mr. Young legal?” he told the station. “If it’s not, then he’s not guilty. … He could punch her 100 times, and it wouldn’t matter.”
A California jury found Young not guilty of attempted murder and assaulting a peace officer, instead finding him guilty of the lesser charge of negligent discharge of a firearm and failed to reach a verdict on several other allegations, including resisting arrest.