Pismo Beach man attempts to shoot officer, gun malfunctions

April 16, 2022


A Pismo Beach man attempted to shoot a policeman on Friday, but his semiautomatic pistol malfunctioned giving the officer an opportunity to subdue the suspect, police said.

Shortly after 1 p.m., the officer attempted to pull a van over for a code violation. Charles Ammons, 47, initially failed to yield and continued driving westbound on Pomeroy Avenue.

After Ammons pulled over, the officer approached the driver’s door. As the officer
opened the door, Ammons allegedly pointed a semiautomatic pistol at the officer’s head and a struggle for the weapon ensued.

During the struggle, Ammons pulled the trigger, attempting to shoot the officer, police said. However, the weapon malfunctioned and did not fire. As the men struggled they fell into the back of the van.

The altercation between the officer and Ammons then escalated to what some have described as a fist fight.

David Saldivar, a military police officer from Fresno, and his son were eating at Mo’s Smokehouse BBQ when people began running by screaming, “He has a gun,” Saldivar said.

“I quickly grabbed my son and took him to the back of the restaurant and put him behind a wall for protection,” Saldivar said. “I then ran to the front seeing the officer struggle with the suspect. I made the decision to assist the officer with subduing the suspect and putting cuffs on him.”

Ammons sustained minor injuries during the scuffle.

Officers booked Ammons into the San Luis Obispo County Jail on charges of drunk driving, attempted murder, resisting arrest, and possession of a loaded firearm in public. He remains in jail with his bail set at $500,000.

Following the arrest, officers searching Ammons’ Pismo Beach residence seized ammunition and loaded magazines.

Investigators are asking anyone with information pertaining to this investigation to contact the Pismo Beach Police Department Investigations Bureau at (805) 773-2208.

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Thankfully, the murder of another local L.E. officer was narrowly avoided. The officer exercised amazing restraint in not drawing & firing his own service weapon to defend himself. Much praise also to the Good Samaritan bystander for assisting.

Crime is just creepin up the coast from LA and Santa Maria :/

Unlke what is seen in other jurisdictions, one half million dollars bail in this case sends the right message that SLO County is serious about gun crime and assaulting a police officer.