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News online for Encinitas, Calif.

North Coast Current

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North Coast Current

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Suspect Wrestles Gun Away and Assaults Homeowner in Robbery Attempt

Suspect+Wrestles+Gun+Away+and+Assaults+Homeowner+in+Robbery+Attempt

Encinitas CA— Early Saturday morning, October 20, 2018 at approximately 5:00am, homeowner Fred Weston (62-years-old) who lives in the 500 block of La Costa Avenue, Encinitas, was awakened by his surveillance system on his property. Weston’s one acre property had been targeted several times in the past by suspects stealing copper cable/wire, leading him to set up the system.
After being awakened, Weston armed himself with a shotgun and went out to check the property. While checking the property, Weston encountered a suspect in dark clothing, attempting to hide. Weston ordered the suspect, Chuck Neil (a 43-year-old transient from Escondido), to stand up, show himself, and start walking to the front gate of the property.
As they approached the gate the suspect, Neil, grabbed the barrel of the gun and attempted to take it away. The barrel of the shotgun was pointed towards the sky. The victim fired one round from the shotgun hoping the sound would scare Neil and he would let go. The suspect, Neil was able to wrestle the shotgun away from Weston. Neil punched Weston in the face several times, breaking his nose and causing Weston to fall to the ground, face first. Neil began choking Weston with the barrel of the shotgun across his throat.
Weston’s wife, LIlibeth (58-years old,) and their son Joseph (19-years-old) saw the assault occurring over the surveillance cameras. Joseph armed himself with a TASER, and he and his mother drove down the long driveway to where Weston was fighting with Neil. Neil refused their demands to release Weston, so Joseph deployed his TASER one time, incapacitating Neil. The family used a belt to secure Neil while they called 9-1-1.
Fred Weston was treated and released from a local hospital for a broken nose, and multiple scrapes and bruises. Chuck Neil was also taken to a local hospital for evaluation and treatment related to the TASER deployment and minor scrapes and bruises.
Deputies found copper cable had been cut and was being collected nearby on the property. Upon his release from the hospital, Neil was questioned by detectives then booked into the Vista Detention Facility for robbery and a grand theft related to one prior case at the Weston home. Both investigations are still on-going.
Call Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477 with information and you will remain anonymous. You may be eligible for up to a $1,000 reward for information leading to a felony arrest.

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Suspect Wrestles Gun Away and Assaults Homeowner in Robbery Attempt