Prather shooting lands former CA gubernatorial candidate in jail

Tye "Glenn" Champ was arrested near Goshen after authorities say he shot his neighbor and his neighbor's horse.

Friday, August 8, 2014
Prather shooting lands former CA gubernatorial candidate in jail
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A Prather man who ran for governor is in jail for attempted murder. Tye "Glenn" Champ was on the run for nearly 12 hours before he was tracked down and arrested.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Deputies say a former California gubernatorial candidate shot a man and a horse Thursday afternoon and then took off. After more than 12 hours on the run, Tye "Glenn" Champ was arrested, accused in a Prather shootout.

Fresno County Sheriff's deputies say there's been a battle brewing over a newly paved road. Witnesses say for some reason that fight turned ugly, a gun was drawn, a horse was killed, a Prather man was wounded, and a governor hopeful found himself in the Fresno County Jail.

Investigators say Champ is a registered sex offender under Megan's Law, but when the 48-year-old ran for governor he told voters he's doing things "God's way" and said this on his campaign website, "If you're like most Californians you believe most politicians are insane and should be arrested on criminal charges."

That was for the June primary. In the end, Champ would get just over 59,000 votes -- nearly 2 percent of the total vote.

"I make the crooked places straight and the rough places smooth," he said on his website.

But his Prather neighbors say there's nothing smooth about him, as Champ and other property owners have been fighting over a paved road for the past few months. Witness Richard Norman says the ongoing fight escalated after Champ punctured the tires on a quad, sending the 13-year-old driver to call for his parents.

"The guy said, 'I'm (expletive) done with everything; I'm done with all the (expletive),' and ended up pulling out a gun and shooting John in the stomach," said Norman.

As they rushed to get the victim some help, witnesses say Champ continued to fire.

"I went to my car to hide behind the vehicles. I saw him shoot a few rounds into the pen," said Champ.

And those rounds struck and then killed a horse.

Authorities say Champ then took off. Tulare County Sheriff's deputies arrested him after a traffic stop near Goshen Friday morning.

Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims says the one-time gubernatorial candidate has an extensive criminal history dating back nearly 30 years. In 1998, Action News cameras were rolling when Champ pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

"The voluntary manslaughter charge resulted from a case in the Prather area where Champ ran over a competitor trash collector with his garbage truck," said Mims.

Mims says after his brief stint on the run, and apparently his brief stint in politics, Champ was questioned by detectives.

Deputies say because Champ is a registered felon, he should never have had a gun in his possession. Champ faces a number of charges including attempted murder and animal cruelty.

As for the victim, he was treated at Community Regional Medical Center and is expected to be OK.

Click here for the Glenn Champ for Governor website.