Los Banos bowling alley owner faces felony gun charges, accused of shooting at wife

The owner of a Los Banos bowling alley pleaded not guilty Friday to firing a gun at his wife inside the Aqua Entertainment Center on West Pacheco Boulevard.

Yong Ye, the 49-year-old owner of the bowling alley and arcade that opened in 2016, was arrested Sept. 20, four days after he allegedly fired at least one shot at his 48-year-old wife during an argument over finances and the business, according to police reports filed in Merced County Superior Court.

Ye on Friday entered not-guilty pleas to assault with a firearm and negligent discharge of a firearm, both felonies. Judge Ronald W. Hansen also issued a criminal protective order requiring Ye to stay at least 100 yards away from the alleged victim, according to court records.

Yong Ye, 49 of Los Banos. Photo courtesy of the Merced County Sheriff’s Office.

According to Los Banos Police Cmdr. Ray Reyna, the argument occurred Sept. 16 and was reported to police three days later. There were no injuries.

Police said the shot was fired around 4 p.m., while customers were inside the business.

Investigators located a wall with bullet damage inside the private office, as well as a small Sig Sauer P238 .380 caliber handgun and two magazines inside of a safe.

Video surveillance footage showed Ye’s wife sitting at a desk with Ye across from her. Ye was holding a firearm in his right hand pointed at his wife. She walked away as he yelled at her.

However, there was no footage of Ye firing the handgun. Ye denied deleting any video footage, police said in their reports.

Officers said the bullet traveled through the office, into the public arcade and the cafeteria and lobby areas. Investigators, however, did not locate the bullet.

Ye told investigators the gun went off accidentally and wasn’t pointed at anyone when it fired, according to the police report.

Ye could not be reached for comment. An employee who answered the phone Sunday at the Aqua Entertainment Center declined to comment.

Investigators also are looking into a similar incident in July in which family members say Ye pointed a shotgun at them during an argument at their home on the southwestern outskirts of Los Banos. Ye has denied the allegation. The family did not report the alleged brandishing at the time, according to court records.

Ye owns several firearms and five were seized from his home during the investigation, according to police reports.

Merced County Sheriff’s Deputy Daryl Allen said Ye posted bail Thursday and was released from custody.

He is scheduled to appear in court again Nov. 13.

Related stories from Merced Sun-Star