October 29, 2012

Atwater man arrested, claimed he was being robbed

An Atwater man is in custody after police reported seizing marijuana plants and two firearms at a residence in the 700 block of Cedar Avenue after responding to a shots-fired call at 11:30 a.m. Saturday.

Witnesses told officers they saw two people running in the area behind the apartment complex where the shot was heard. Officers found a shell casing in the alley, according to Lt. Sam Joseph.

Police said that while they were talking to witnesses, a man drove up in a car and began running toward officer Lisa Howard. For safety reasons, Howard pulled out her firearm, ordered the man to stop and called for backup.

The man, identified as 23-year-old Bryant White, claimed a man shot at him during an argument, police reported.

When officers went to White's residence, police said, they found several marijuana plants between a parking structure wall outside, according to Joseph.

White's live-in girlfriend allowed officers inside the home, where they found 2 pounds of processed marijuana in a storage shed and two shotguns. Police officers said one of the shotguns was loaded, but the casings did not match the one found earlier.

Police also found stolen property from a burglary that was reported Saturday. The owner of the property identified the items, which were returned to the burglary victim by police.

White was arrested on multiple charges, including suspicion of possession of marijuana for sale, possession of stolen property and resisting arrest. He is being held at the Merced County Jail in lieu of $32,500 bail.

Reporter Ramona Giwargis can be reached at (209) 385-2477 or

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