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Bluffdale man faces attempted murder charge

Neighborhood-watch victim unarmed when shot, prosecutors say

Published: Tuesday, July 28 2009 12:00 a.m. MDT

A man who was shot and paralyzed while conducting a neighborhood mobile watch patrol in Bluffdale had put his gun down and was not armed when he was shot, prosecutors said Monday.

Reginald Campos, 43, was charged with attempted murder, a first-degree felony, and two counts of aggravated assault, a third-degree felony, in 3rd District Court on Monday.

David Serbeck, a retired Iraq war veteran who had served in the U.S. Army, was doing neighborhood watch on July 22 when he spotted a group of girls and followed them, according to the Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office. The girls, not knowing Serbeck was actually trying to help residents keep their neighborhood safe, became scared, and one of the girls called her father.

The father, Campos, set out to find Serbeck's vehicle. When Campos did, he pulled his car in front Serbeck's, slammed on his brakes, got out, pointed a handgun at Serbeck and his friend and ordered him, "Put your hands up," according to the charges.

"Serbeck exited his vehicle with his own firearm, holding it upside down by the barrel," the charges state. "He then placed the gun on the ground and kicked it away, disarming himself."

But that kind of description of how passively Serbeck acted differs from the version Campos told police from the scene. Immediately after shots were fired, and standing near Serbeck's injured but conscious body, Campos told a 911 dispatcher, "He (Serbeck) pulled a gun on me and cocked it.... He got out of his car, pulled a gun on me, cocked it, and I let him have it."

Audio from the several-minute 911 call also suggests Campos was worried Serbeck would grab his nearby handgun, that had either fallen when he was hit, or was put on the ground.

Sheriff's investigators later determined that Serbeck's gun was locked in the safety position. The friend also told investigators he never saw Serbeck point the gun at Campos.

Several times, Campos told dispatchers from the scene he had shot Serbeck three times.

Prosecutors allege Campos fired two shots after Serbeck put the gun down. One bullet hit Serbeck's shoulder and exited through his back. He is now permanently paralyzed because of his injuries, court documents state.

e-mail: preavy@desnews.com

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