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Alarm-Blaring Car Is Shot; Simi Valley Man Is Held

He faces felony charges that could bring 44 months in prison and fines up to $10,000.

August 11, 2005|Gregory W. Griggs | Times Staff Writer

Disturbed by a blaring car alarm in the neighborhood, a Simi Valley man decided to do something about it.

Shortly after the incessant screeching began about 10 p.m. Tuesday outside the Yosemite Avenue apartment, the man identified the source of the noise as a white Toyota Camry and shot it. At least three times.

Police arrested David Owen Rye, 48, without incident after a neighbor called to report gunshots. An officer who was in the area investigating an unrelated crime also heard the discharge of the 9-millimeter pistol.

Rye, a manager at a Ralphs supermarket in Newbury Park, was booked into the Ventura County Jail on suspicion of shooting a firearm with gross negligence, and vandalism.

If convicted on both felony counts, he would face up to 44 months in state prison and fines of up to $10,000. He remained in custody Wednesday in lieu of $50,000 bail.

According to a neighbor who witnessed the incident, a man she identified as Rye walked down from a second-floor apartment to determine which vehicle the alarm was coming from and then shot several rounds into the car's hood and bumper.

"We were just afraid that he was going to injure himself and wanted someone to take care of it before he did," said Daphe Duvall, 72, who called the police.

"I feel really bad for him.... He never really bothered anyone."

Duvall said Rye moved to the Oak Tree Apartments in Simi Valley earlier this year to be near his teenage daughter.

The vandalized vehicle was being used by Nicholas Moreno of Simi Valley. Moreno, a Navy airman on leave from his duties aboard the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, was in town visiting friends.

"I couldn't believe anyone would shoot a car over an alarm," Moreno said in an interview Wednesday on CBS-TV Channel 2. "That's not a safe guy, you know what I mean?"

Simi Valley Mayor Paul Miller, the city's former police chief, denounced the actions as reckless, saying he hoped the shooter would get jail time for putting "others at risk by indiscriminately discharging a gun."

"I've been in this city for well over 20 years and that's the first time anyone has tried to kill a car with a handgun," Miller said. "Obviously the man wasn't thinking right. That sort of activity is totally unacceptable in our city."

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