Loaded shotgun found in Grass Valley library patron’s duffel bag | TheUnion.com

Loaded shotgun found in Grass Valley library patron’s duffel bag

Christian Ponce

Grass Valley Police officers looking for a man on several outstanding warrants ended up arresting him after an extended scuffle in the downtown library — and reportedly finding a loaded shotgun in his duffle bag.

Officers had received information that Christian Alexander Ponce, 20, was at the Grass Valley Library on Mill Street Wednesday afternoon, said Sgt. Jason Perry.

Perry said he was not familiar with Ponce, and made contact with three men at the library, none of whom had ID. All three men verbally identified themselves and provided dates of birth, and came up clear during a check, Perry said.

Two of the men were on search terms and were searched, he said.

One man seemed "extremely motivated to leave," Perry said. "He was acting strange."

He was released and reportedly went into the library, grabbed several bags and quickly headed down the stairs to the children's section and into the bathroom.

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An officer followed him and could hear water running, suspecting that the man might be trying to flush contraband, Perry said. When the man exited the bathroom, he reportedly was fidgety and nervous, acting increasingly strange. The officer conducted a field sobriety test and determined the man was under the influence of narcotics, Perry said.

As the suspect was being detained, he began physically resisting, but was eventually handcuffed, Perry said, adding that he then began yelling that he had a shotgun in his duffel bag.

"We did find a pistol-grip, short-barreled loaded shotgun," Perry said.

The man continued to resist as we was removed from the library and reportedly head-butted a police car before being placed in leg restraints.

The suspect finally identified himself as Ponce and told officers he was having mental health problems and possibly was suicidal.

He was taken to Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital, was evaluated by Mental Health and cleared.

Ponce was booked into county jail on suspicion of carrying a concealed weapon, having a loaded firearm in public, impersonating another, possessing drug paraphernalia, being under the influence of a controlled substance and violating probation, as well as two misdemeanor warrants and one felony warrant. He was being held without bail.

To contact City Editor Liz Kellar, email lkellar@theunion.com or call 530-477-4229.

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