Three Canyon Country men arrested for vandalism suspected inseveral other incidents.
Another deputy-involved shooting happened Wednesday night whenCOBRA officers fired on a vandalism suspect as he reached under theseat of his car. No one was hit in the incident, which resulted inthe arrest of three Canyon Country men for felony vandalism.
Detectives from the Santa Clarita station’s COBRA unitwere patrolling in an unmarked vehicle in the area of 18500 SoledadCanyon Road when they saw Gregorio Prial, 21, spray paint graffition a section of wall adjacent to the roadway.
As deputies approached Prial, a vehicle with two occupantspulled up and Prial jumped into the right front passenger seat.After ordering the vehicle to stop, two of the car’soccupants complied with a request to freeze and show their hands,except for Prial, who reached under the seat for an object officersbelieved to be a handgun.
Fearing for his safety and that of his partner, one of thedeputies fired one shot, missing the suspect, but getting all threesuspects’ attention. The trio, which included Jesse JamesPrasch, 21, and Anthony Mercado, 21, were arrested.
No gun was recovered from the vehicle, butdeputies did recover an item protruding from under the passengerseat that could have been mistaken for a handgun. Investigatorshave determined that these suspects might be responsible for atleast six other incidents of vandalism that occurred betweenSolamint Road and Galeton Road prior to deputies spotting thesuspects.
A connection between these incidents and the gang-related fightthat occurred Friday night in the area in which another deputyfired at a suspect, is being investigated. Sheriff’sofficials promise an increased presence in the area to ensureresidents’ safety.
All three suspects were booked at the Santa Clarita ValleySheriff#39;s Station on felony vandalism charges. Prial was found tobe on felony parole and is being held without bail; Prasch andMercado are each being held in lieu of $20,000 bail. No onewas hit by the gunfire and neither the suspects or the deputieswere injured.