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Disturbance call leads to arrest of ranting Mendocino County man

Mendocino County sheriff's deputies responding to a neighborhood disturbance Thursday night in the rural Anderson Valley community of Philo were poised on the brink of a gunfight when the suspect dropped the weapon he briefly trained on two deputies, authorities said.

Deputies went to the Hungry Hollow Road address around 7:15 p.m. Thursday after a neighbor reported Branden Johnson, 34, in the street playing loud music and shouting obscenities, the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office said.

Responding deputies found an unoccupied pickup at the base of Johnson's driveway and shouted for him to meet them there. When he came running toward them, they saw a metal object in his hand that they eventually could see was a pistol, sheriff's Capt. Greg Van Patten said.

When Johnson, 34, was within about 15 feet, they drew their own guns and took cover, Van Patten said.

Johnson briefly pointed his gun at the deputies before tossing it into the bed of the truck, authorities said. He was quickly taken into custody.

Officials said Johnson had a previous conviction and current restraining order in place for domestic violence that prohibited him from possessing firearms.

He was arrested for suspected assault with a deadly weapon and weapons violations, and was being held in lieu of $200,000 bail, authorities said.

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