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Security guard charged with firing gun, hitting woman a mile away

July 23, 2009 |  6:58 am

A security guard in Long Beach has been charged with two felonies stemming from an incident last month in which he allegedly fired his gun in the air to break up a fight and wounded a woman a mile away as she slept outside her home.

Prosecutors charged Gilbert Fonoti, 23, with two counts of felony discharge of a firearm with gross negligence and carrying a loaded unregistered firearm, said spokeswoman Jane Robison of the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.

The case unfolded June 26 when groups of people began brawling outside Club Cohiba around closing time. Fonoti, who was providing security at an event at the club, unsuccessfully tried to stop the fights before allegedly fired his gun in the air.

The bullet traveled over a mile and struck the 49-year-old unidentified woman, who was sleeping on her deck. Fonoti, who could not be reached for comment, was arrested that night and released on bond, according to the Los Angeles County sheriff's website.

Authorities said they pursued charges after ballistics evidence reviewed by the Long Beach Police Department showed the bullet was fired from the gun taken from the defendant.

-- Andrew Blankstein