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Police Fire Rubber Bullets at Man During Confrontation

September 04, 2000|HOLLY J. WOLCOTT

SIMI VALLEY — A local man who allegedly charged at police after an argument with his estranged wife was shot three times with hard rubber bullets that officers use to subdue suspects, authorities said Sunday.

Sergio Munoz, 24, received cuts and scrapes in the Saturday night incident that occurred near Hubbard Street and Los Angeles Avenue, Simi Valley Police Sgt. Karl Becker said.

Munoz was treated at Simi Valley Hospital, then taken to a county mental health center in Ventura for evaluation, Becker said. He was not charged with a crime.

The incident started shortly after 11 p.m. when Munoz's wife, Jasmine Valenzuela, 22, called police from her home on Royal Avenue and said the couple had argued before her husband fled on a bicycle.

As officers interviewed Valenzuela, Munoz called and allegedly threatened suicide. Officers, who found Munoz at a fast-food restaurant, were warned by Valenzuela that he might be armed with a gun, police said.

Munoz allegedly refused to comply with the officers' orders and walked away. Becker said six officers followed Munoz for several hundred feet before Munoz allegedly turned and ran at them.

Munoz was struck in the wrist, abdomen and chest.

A "use of force" investigation was underway, but it appears the shooting was justified, Becker said.

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