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Taft Midway Driller - Taft, CA
  • Deputies arrest two men for reckless shooting, say one man was hallucinating

  • One suspect "believed deputies were God," sheriff's sergeant said
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    Kern County Sheriff's deputies arrested two men for unsafe shooting in Taft Heights Friday night, and they say one of the men was under the influence of synthetic bath salts and methamphetamine and hallucinating.
    Deputies were dispatched to the area of Third Avenue. and E Street after receiving reports of two men armed with rifles and one wearing a mask, walking southbound towards the fields on 25 Hill.
    As deputies arrived, they heard the sound of gunfire from the area south of E street, Sgt. Martin Downs said.
    They detained two men, identified as Matthew Christopher Ray and James Hobbs, both 21.
    The men were armed with loaded .22-caliber rifles.
    Downs said Ray was “acting bizarre, hallucinating, and believing the responding deputies were God.”
    The deputies attributed Ray's behavior to the use of the drugs.
    Both men were arrested and transported to the Sheriff's central receiving facility in Bakersfield.
    Ray was arrested for being under the influence of a controlled substance while possessing a firearm, negligent discharge of a firearm, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Hobbs was arrested for negligent discharge of a firearm.
     

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