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SCV Domestic Violence Center awaits arrest reward

Simi Valley woman directs $20,000 for ‘War Machine’ capture to local nonprofit

Posted: August 28, 2014 5:48 p.m.
Updated: August 28, 2014 5:48 p.m.
Mixed martial arts fighter "War Machine," aka Jon Koppenhaver.  Mixed martial arts fighter "War Machine," aka Jon Koppenhaver. 
Mixed martial arts fighter "War Machine," aka Jon Koppenhaver. 

Mary Casamento couldn’t have been more surprised when she learned there was a $20,000 reward for the capture of the man in the Simi Valley hotel room next to her who was making such a racket.

That noisy neighbor, whom she reported to police, turned out to be the mixed martial arts fighter who goes by the name “War Machine” — and who was wanted by Las Vegas police for allegedly beating his longtime girlfriend, adult film actress Christy Mack.

“(Celebrity news website) TMZ called me and said they would be paying a reward,” Casamento said in an interview with The Signal this week. “I spoke with Erica from TMZ and told her I’m financially sound and I think the money should go to the domestic violence shelter in Santa Clarita.”

That was three weeks ago.

“No one has contacted us,” said Linda Davies, executive director of the Domestic Violence Center of Santa Clarita Valley. “We’d love to get it, if this (money) is really out there,” she said Thursday.

Davies said an employee at the SCV Domestic Violence Center learned about the reward and Casamento’s donation Aug. 24 through a posting about War Machine’s arrest on TMZ’s website.

“Mary scored a $20K reward — $10K from Christy’s family and an equal amount from ‘Pawn Stars’ star Corey Harrison,” TMZ’s posting on Aug. 24 reads.

“But she’s not cashing in, because she already has enough to last her for the rest of her life. She’s decided to give the dough to a Santa Clarita, CA., battered women’s shelter. Give this woman a reward award.”

Casamento of Simi Valley recounted what happened after news spread about the reward for the arrest of “War Machine,” whose real name is Jon Koppenhaver.

“A whole bunch of reporters circled me and started asking me, ‘Did you do it for the reward?’ I told them I wanted the money to go to the shelter in Santa Clarita,” she said.

Casamento said she is “hyper-sensitive” to the plight of battered women, having been victimized herself.

“I was battered seven years ago. It’s a sore spot with me,” she said. “I wanted to pay it (the reward) forward.”

But since she was told of the reward, Casamento hasn’t heard back from TMZ, she said.

“I know none of the particulars” of what’s become of the reward money, Casamento said. “Only that they offered it to me.”

On Wednesday, TMZ news desk employee Erica Steiner told The Signal that so far the pledged reward money hasn’t materialized.

“I’m still trying to get ahold of the people who owe the money,” Steiner said. “Honestly, it’s just a matter of when they get back to me. I’m sure it will be paid, eventually.”

On Thursday, Steiner didn’t answer her phone and did not return two messages.

In the meantime, Davies said the promised windfall would come in handy.

“We certainly could use it,” she said.




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