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Bluffdale man charged in shooting out on bail

Published: Thursday, July 30 2009 12:00 a.m. MDT

Reggie Campos leaves Salt Lake County Jail Wednesday. He said he looks forward to his day in court.

Barton Glasser, Deseret News

WEST JORDAN — Reggie Campos says he is anxious to have his day in court and give his side of the story.

Although he declined to talk specifics about what happened that evening, he said Wednesday that media reports that he shot an unarmed man in Bluffdale on July 22 were inaccurate.

"Reports I shot the individual while not armed are incorrect," he told the Deseret News shortly after posting bail and being released from the Salt Lake County Jail on Wednesday afternoon. "I look forward to my day in court to prove it."

Campos said he looks forward to other witnesses taking the stand in his defense.

Wearing a shirt, pants and white socks because he did not have any shoes with him when he was taken to jail, Campos walked down the long ramp from the jail where his brother picked him up and took him home.

Campos, 43, is accused of shooting David Serbeck. Some neighbors say it was a case of severe miscommunication between two well-intentioned men. Investigators say Serbeck was conducting a neighborhood watch patrol that night and had followed Campos' daughter, apparently unaware of what she and her friends were doing.

The daughter, not knowing Serbeck was patrolling the neighborhood, was frightened by the unknown man following her and called her father, prompting Campos to set out to find Serbeck's vehicle, police say.

Campos, who had not met Serbeck though they live just five minute apart, was also active in his neighborhood, trying to keep residents safe. He recently had informed his neighbors about a rash of mail thefts and burglaries. Campos' own home was burglarized the week before.

Thinking he was protecting his daughter, Campos found Serbeck's car and confronted him in the street. Both men exited their vehicles armed. Court documents say Serbeck placed his gun on the ground and kicked it away. That's when Campos fired twice, severely damaging Serbeck's spinal cord, causing permanent paralysis, according to the charges.

But Campos' family members say the mild-mannered licensed CPA is a loving husband and father, a family man with three daughters and a son, and a person who cares about his neighbors and his community. He is hardly the stereotypical image of a person charged with attempted murder, accused of gunning down an unarmed man in the middle of the street, as prosecutors have alleged.

During a brief video hearing in 3rd District Court, Judge Robert Adkins reduced Campos' bail from $500,000 cash only to $100,000 bondable bail. By 1:30 p.m., Campos was able to post bail.

Often coming close to choking up as he spoke outside the jail, Campos told the News he was happy to be out and praised the Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office for "treating me with respect and understanding."

"They were very good to me," he said.

Campos also thanked two cell mates who "made the stay very manageable."

"I'm sorry for the injuries that the other individual suffered in this matter," he said while wishing Serbeck the best in his recovery. "May he quickly get back to his family and friends."

Campos also thanked his own family and friends for their support.

"I look forward to going home and get life straightened out … get these proceedings wrapped up to whatever end they might go," he said.

Conrad Campos, Reggie Campos' brother, said after the court hearing and prior to his brother's release, that the family was also looking forward to the law running its course. He said the family has been "discouraged" by how Reggie Campos has been portrayed so far and felt the summary of events prosecutors presented in court was "overdone."

"Look for all the facts and truth to come out in court," he said.

Conrad Campos admits it was tough seeing his brother in a jail jumpsuit and shackles. When he visited his brother earlier in the week, he said Reggie Campos was discouraged but upbeat. The two did not talk about the incident, and the family has purposely avoided talking much about what happened so as not to jeopardize the court case.

Reggie Campos' experience with guns doesn't go beyond shooting at paper targets, Conrad Campos said. He had no criminal history prior to this arrest.

Although the incident has shaken the otherwise quiet Bluffdale neighborhood, Conrad Campos said residents have been very supportive of his brother. The community is heartbroken over the entire situation and what happened with both men.

Reggie Campos' next hearing is scheduled for Aug. 11.

e-mail: preavy@desnews.com

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