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Suspect Tasers Deputy in the Face; Goes After Firearm

Suspect Tasers Deputy in the Face; Goes After Firearm

Steven Atkinson (Ventura County Sheriff's Office)

Los Angeles Times via YellowBrix

December 13, 2010

OJAI VALLEY — A female Ventura County sheriff’s deputy is recovering, after she was violently attacked while responding to a 911 hang-up call.

The attack happened Friday morning in the 4900 block of Casitas Pass Road.

Deputy Traci Salmon, 31, approached the front door of a residence and was ambushed by 32-year-old Steven Atkinson, according to authorities.

A violent struggle ensued, during which Atkinson grabbed Salmon’s taser and tased her in the upper body, according to Ventura Sheriff’s Capt. Rick Barrios.

Salmon fired her service weapon, hitting Atkinson in the leg. She was eventually able to get out of the residence and call for backup.

Atkinson armed himself with a gun and barricaded himself inside the residence. A sheriff’s department SWAT Team, Air Unit, and Negotiations Unit were called in. They were assisted several other law enforcement agencies, including the California Highway Patrol, the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department and the Ventura Police Department.

Finally, at about 11:30 a.m., Atkinson surrendered to police.

One other adult who was inside the residence was hurt, but the extent of the injuries wasn’t immediately clear.

Deputy Salmon was taken to the Ventura County Medical Center, where she was treated and later released.

Atkinson was arrested and taken to the same hospital to be treated for his injuries. He was then released and booked into the Ventura County Jail for attempted murder of a peace officer and taking a peace officer’s weapon.

He’s being held on $1 million bail.

Salmon has worked as a deputy sheriff for five years, and previously served in Iraq with the U.S. Army.


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