A former San Bernardino County Sheriff’s deputy says she’s angry that a jury acquitted a man charged with her attempted murder, for a video-recorded attack in 2019 in Victorville in which she was beaten and her gun was taken during a fight.
“If he’s found not guilty, then what happened to me?,” ex-deputy Meagan McCarthy told NBC4 Monday. “This is just how I feel — if a video proof of a crime occurring is not enough to change a narrative that people hear, then what will be enough?”
Jurors found Ari A. Young not guilty on May 31 of attempted murder and assault with a firearm on a police officer, according to court records. Jurors convicted Young on a charge of firing a gun with gross negligence, and Young was released from jail.
The video, captured from a home nearby, begins some time after McCarthy and Young were fighting, and shows Young take McCarthy, then known as Meagan Forsberg, to the ground, where the two struggle over McCarthy’s pistol and rounds are fired into the ground.
“A portion of me accepted that I was about to get murdered,” McCarthy recalled.
Young’s defense lawyer said that while his client beat McCarthy, took her baton and gun, and fired the gun indiscriminately, the video also shows that Young never took aim at the deputy.
“This was an illusion,” attorney Raj Maline said of the prosecution’s attempted murder allegation, “because when you look at the video, certainly it looks bad.”
Maline said that video, other evidence, and eyewitness accounts presented at trial showed Young fired the gun but in a different direction from where McCarthy had run for cover. He said a forensic examination of McCarthy’s gun also raised questions about the prosecution’s theory of what happened, and the judge told jurors to disregard some of the prosecution’s case.
“The court intervened, took that count away and dismissed it right then and said the jury is not going to be able to deliberate on that issue or consider that issue, because it’s not even a close call,” Maline said.
Young, then 21, was experiencing mental health issues, which is what had prompted his mother to call for police that day to remove Young from her home.
McCarthy says she was terrified during the struggle with Young, during which she said she considered shooting Young as she was being overpowered and felt like she might lose consciousness.
“I remember hearing the trigger click and I had so much pain to my face from him hitting me that I didn’t know if I had been shot,” she said. “But I knew I had a little girl at home and I had to fight for her.”
McCarthy said she was given a medical retirement from the sheriff’s department in March 2022, in part due to the post traumatic stress she suffered from the attack.
The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said it would make a comment on the jury’s finding Tuesday.
The District Attorney’s Office said it was unable to comment because the case is, “still active.” Jurors were unable to reach verdicts on several less serious charges and it’s possible prosecutors could retry those counts.
Source: NBC Los Angeles