On Thursday, August 11, 2016 at 6:36 p.m., VPD patrol officers responded, to the area of Citrus Drive and Wells Road, to a report of a possible domestic disturbance, involving a male seen forcing a female into a motorhome parked on the street.
Officers arrived and contacted the male half of the domestic identified as Michael Gaussiran, 52, sitting in the driver’s seat of the motorhome. As officers questioned him about the whereabouts of the involved female Gaussiran stated that she had left but refused to let the officers inspect the interior of the motorhome to ascertain if the female was in need of any assistance. Gaussiran refused to exit the locked motorhome and suddenly retreated to the rear portion of the vehicle out of the officers’ view. The officers not knowing what Gaussian’s intentions were took cover behind the patrol units and began to order Gaussiran out of the motorhome. After approximately 15 minutes flames were observed inside the motorhome as Gaussiran fled out the side door and was taken into custody.
The motor home quickly became engulfed in flames and officers attempted to obtain information from Gaussiran as to the location of the female he was arguing with. Gaussiran remained uncooperative and made statements that led the officers on scene to suspect that Gaussiran had intentionally started the fire to destroy evidence of narcotic manufacturing that may have been occurring inside the motorhome.
Based on this information officers quickly evacuated the area and diverted traffic away as precaution in the event that the motorhome contained additional flammable and caustic chemicals that are used in the manufacturing of narcotics. Ventura City Fire and a Haz Mat crew responded and extinguished the fire. Ventura Street Crimes Unit Detectives and Ventura County Combined Agency Task Force Detectives who are trained in narcotic lab investigations responded to assist. It was also determined that the female that was involved in the initial altercation had been seen by witnesses leaving the area on foot prior to the first officers arriving on scene.
As a precaution the officers who had first arrived and were exposed to the suspect and the smoke from the motorhome fire were de-contaminated at the scene and later treated at the Ventura County Medical Center for possible chemical exposure. Detectives reviewed video taken by fire personnel of the interior of the motorhome and did not see any items or equipment consistent with the manufacturing of narcotics. An explosive device was observed and the Ventura County Bomb Squad responded to safely remove this device. Samples of the air and water runoff from around the motorhome were tested and found to be at safe levels with no indication of the caustic chemicals that are used during the process of manufacturing narcotics. Gaussiran remained uncooperative with officers and detectives refusing to say why he had intentionally torched his motorhome or why he was in possession of a commercially manufactured explosive device. He was later medically cleared at the hospital and then transported to the Ventura County Main Jail where he was booked on obstruction and unlawful possession of an explosive device. The motorhome was towed from the scene and all road closures were cleared by 1 a.m. This investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information related to this crime is urged to call the Ventura Police Department Street Crimes Unit at 339-4328, or make an anonymous call to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477. If your information leads to an arrest, you could receive a cash reward of up to $1,000.