Ventura Man Tazes Deputy in Face

She Returns Fire, Calls for Backup, Standoff Ensues

Ventura resident John Atkinson was taken into custody by Sheriff’s deputies at around 11:30 am this morning after he allegedly assaulted a female deputy who was responding to a hangup 911 call in the 4900 block of Casitas Pass.

Atkinson, said Ventura Sheriff’s Department spokesperson Captain Ross Bonfiglio, became violent when the deputy approached him on the ranch property at around 9:30 am. The 32-year-old purportedly wrenched a tazer from her and shot her in the face with it.

Bonfiglio said the deputy was able to quickly return fire with her handgun, striking Atkinson multiple times in the lower torso before calling for backup. A number of other deputies soon responded to the scene – including personnel with the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department – but Atkinson had fled inside his home and refused to come out.

A SWAT team was eventually called in, said Bonfiglio, and family members on the scene assisted authorities in convincing Atkinson to surrender peacefully. He eventually did so about two hours later. Atkinson’s bullet wounds are non-life threating, explained Bonfiglio, and he may be facing an attempted murder of a peace officer charge. The deputy is reportedly recovering at a nearby hospital.

Bonfiglio said it’s not yet clear why the initial 911 call was made or why Atkinson attacked the deputy, promising more information will be released once it becomes available.

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