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Sheriff: Joshua Chimarusti Arrested For Firing Shots At Ventura County Firehawk Helicopter

OAK VIEW (CBSLA) — A man faces several charges, including attempted murder, after authorities say he fired a gun at a Ventura County Firehawk helicopter.

joshua chimarusti
(credit: Ventura County Sheriff's Department)

Joshua James Chimarusti, 44, was arrested last Thursday morning on several charges in connection with shots fired at the crew of Ventura County Firehawk Copter 4 the previous night.

The crew had been conducting nighttime training operations in Lake Casitas at about 9:15 p.m. when they became aware of gunfire directed at them, according to the Ventura County Sheriff's Department. The helicopter's pilot took evasive action and identified a suspect vehicle speeding away, and followed it into Oak View, where it stopped in the 200 block of Olive Street. Authorities say the suspect got out of the car and fired more shots at the helicopter, then ran away to avoid being arrested.

After an extensive search of the area with a K9 team, a small SWAT contingent, and the helicopter, Chimarusti was found and taken into custody, sheriff's officials said. The handgun used during both shootings was also recovered.

Ventura County Copter 4 was not damaged in either shooting.

Chimarusti was arrested on several charges, including attempted murder, assault with a firearm upon a peace officer or firefighter, and shooting at an unoccupied aircraft. He is being held on $910,000 bail and is scheduled to make his first court appearance Monday.


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