California Deputy Seen on Camera Being Attacked by Man Who Wrestled Her Gun Away Stunned He's Found Not Guilty

Meghan McCarthy, a former sheriff's deputy in Victorville, California, says the outcome of the incident, in which she was brutally beaten by a man who then took her gun and fired it as she ran, is "terrifying."

A man who was seen on camera beating a sheriff’s deputy, taking her gun from her, and firing the gun as she ran for her life has been found not guilty. The former deputy is shocked by the verdict and that the man has been released, telling Inside Edition she’s horrified by the outcome.

“It’s pretty heartbreaking,” Meghan McCarthy tells Inside Edition. “It’s terrifying.”

McCarthy was working as a sheriff’s deputy in Victorville, California, when she responded to a woman’s call for help four years ago. It was then that the woman’s son, Ari Young, attacked her. Young repeatedly punched McCarthy, who fell to the ground during the assault, video of the ordeal showed. Shots were fired as she and Young grappled for her weapon. He was able to take possession of the gun as McCarthy ran for her life.

“I thought I had been shot,” she tells Inside Edition. “My brain couldn’t process how I am looking down the barrel of gun and not killed, so then I knew I had to get out of there.”

As she ran, Young fired her weapon.

“I hear another shot go off and I know he is shooting at me,” she recalls.

More officers arrived on scene and shot Young six times. He survived the incident.

Young was charged with attempted murder, battery against a peace officer and resisting arrest.

It seemed to many like an open and shut case, especially given that the incident was caught on camera, but in what stunned McCarthy, the jury found Young not guilty of attempted murder, and was unable to reach a verdict on other serious charges. 

The jurors found him guilty only of negligent discharge of a firearm. Today, Young is out of prison and walking free.

McCarthy, who testified in the trial, says she is now living in fear.

“I don’t know how victims of crime are not protected anymore. I don’t know how law enforcement can become subject to such ridicule,” she says.

Young’s attorney, Raj Malien, says McCarthy began to detain his client “without any information, or what they call is reasonable suspicion that he’s involved in any criminal activity.”

Malien says his client was simply resisting arrest, legally.

“In California you are allowed to resist. You’re allowed to even hit a police officer, believe it or not, if they are not lawfully performing their duties,” he says.

He also says his client did not fire at McCarthy, telling Inside Edition that Young fired at a garage and up in the air.

But McCarthy says she doesn’t buy it.

“What more could I have done? Would it had taken an actual bullet in my head?” she says.

Later this month, the district attorney plans to retry Young.

Related Stories