Arcata Police Service Canine, “Zari” is retiring after eight and a half years of dedicated service to the community. Zari, the K9 partner of Sergeant Ron Sligh, is retiring due to normal age related ailments that make it no longer practical for him to serve. Zari began his service to the City of Arcata in June of 2008 and his official last day was January 13th, 2017. Zari is a sable colored German Shepherd that was born on March 23rd, 2007 in the Czech Republic. He was imported to the United States by the Witmer-Tyson Kennels of Menlo Park, California in June 2008.
Sgt Sligh and Zari attended the basic patrol handler’s course in Newark, California, which culminated in the Police Officers Standard’s in Training (POST) certification. Since attending the basic handlers course, Sgt Sligh and Zari have attended thousands of hours of maintenance training and certified annually to POST Standards.
During Zari’s career he has responded to numerous high risk incidents in the City of Arcata and all over Humboldt County. As part of mutual aid requests from almost all law enforcement agencies in the county, Zari has been a regional asset. Some of the more notable incidents that Zari has been involved in are; in 2009 he assisted in the apprehension of a home invasion robbery suspect that attempted to flee the scene. Also in 2009, Zari came to the aid of Sgt Sligh in arresting a suspect that was violently resisting arrest and who had assaulted Sgt Sligh. Again in 2009, Sgt Sligh and Zari responded to assist the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office SWAT Team in searching a vehicle that had crashed during a high speed pursuit, near Willow Creek. The suspects in the vehicle had committed an armed robbery and had been shooting at pursuing officers during the pursuit.
In 2013, Zari located a double homicide suspect who was hiding in the bushes. Zari and Sgt Sligh assisted the Humboldt County Sheriff’s SWAT Team in the apprehension of two homicide suspects in the Samoa Dunes. Zari was part of the muti-agency response to search for a homicide suspect in Petrolia. Zari assisted in the apprehension of another homicide suspect. Zari was called in by Humboldt County District Attorney Investigators to search a residence where a vehicular manslaughter suspect was hiding. Zari located the suspect hiding under a bed.
Zari was present on over a thousand arrests during his career. On the vast majority of those arrests the suspects were taken into custody without resisting or attempting to flee. Within in the last month, Sgt Sligh and Zari were able to arrest a felony warrant suspect, who has a history of fleeing, without incident.
Zari and Sgt Sligh conducted many K9 demonstrations over the years for schools and community groups. Zari has enjoyed interacting with the department’s staff and made a special friendship with Police Services Assistant Bev Bence in the department’s front office.
Zari will be able to enjoy his retirement in the care of the Sligh Family.
On Sunday, December 18, 2016 at approximately 9:40 p.m. Hector Godoy-Standley and Catherine Fode, who are both wanted for last week’s murder of Tyson Claros, turned themselves in to the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office. Both Godoy-Standley and Fode were arrested without incident, and were booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility for the charge of PC 187/homicide. Their bail was set at $1,000,000 each.
The investigation of Tyson Claros’ murder is still currently ongoing. If anyone has information in regards to this homicide investigation, please contact Investigator Fulton at (707) 268-3646 or the non-emergency phone number for the Sheriff’s Office at (707) 445-7251.
On December 12th, 20 year old Tyson Claros was murdered in
the Manila area. Through the course of the investigation, Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Investigators determined there were five suspects involved in the murder of Tyson Claros. Three of the five suspects have been arrested. Two suspects, Cesar OctavioValenzuela-Campos and Tamara Nicole Thomson, were arrested the day of the homicide. The third suspect, 22 year old Brandon James Mitchell turned himself in to Investigators on Thursday, December 15th after learning he was wanted by law enforcement.
21 year old Hector Godoy-Standley and 18 year old Catherine Suzanne Lynn Fode are currently still wanted for the murder of Claros and warrants have been issued for their arrest. The Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s assistance in locating Godoy-Standley and Fode.
The investigation is currently ongoing. If anyone has information in regards to this homicide investigation, please contact Investigator Fulton at (707) 268-3646 or the non-emergency phone number for the Sheriff’s Office at (707) 445-7251.
On Monday, December 12, 2016 at approximately 9:30 p.m. Humboldt County Sheriff’s Deputies detained 23 year old Cesar Octavio Valenzuela-Campos at the Shell Station on Myrtle Ave at McFarlan St. in Eureka. Valenzuela-Campos was interviewed by Investigators and subsequently arrested for yesterday’s murder of 20 year old Tyson Claros. Valenzuela-Campos was booked at the Humboldt County Correctional Facility (HCCF) for murder and his bail was set at $1,000,000.
A short while later 18 year old Tamara Nicole Thomson was arrested at a residence in Eureka. The Humboldt County SWAT team assisted in the apprehension of Thomson. Thomson was booked at the HCCF for murder and an outstanding juvenile warrant. Her bail was set at $1,000,000.
On Monday, December 12, 2016 at approximately 2:15 a.m. Humboldt County Deputy Sheriffs responded to the Manila area for a report of a possible armed robbery. Deputies located a 20 year old male victim in the roadway of Hwy 255, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. The victim was transported to a local hospital by medical personnel where he was pronounced deceased.
Humboldt County Sheriff’s Deputies and Detectives are currently investigating the incident as a homicide. The investigation is currently ongoing.
Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call Investigator Fulton at 707-268-3646 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.
Fatality Collision on Central Avenue
McKinleyville, California- On the evening of Wednesday, December 14th, one female teenage pedestrian sustained fatal injuries after being struck by a passing vehicle.
At approximately 8:07 p.m., James Arthur Merrick , of McKinleyville, was turning his 2000 Dodge Ram 1500 from eastbound Anna Sparks Way onto northbound Central Avenue. The juvenile pedestrian was walking northbound on the east shoulder of Central Avenue, north of Anna Sparks Way. For reasons still under investigation Mr. Merrick allowed his vehicle to drive off the roadway and onto the east shoulder of Central Avenue striking the juvenile pedestrian. The vehicle continued eastbound on the shoulder until it collided into a light pole. Merrick attempted to flee the scene of the collision but was detained by several witnesses until Law Enforcement arrived on scene. The juvenile pedestrian was transported to Mad River Community Hospital where she later succumbed to her injuries.
Merrick was placed under arrest and alcohol is believed to be a contributing factor in this traffic collision. The California Highway Patrol-Humboldt Area responded to the scene and is conducting the investigation.
On December 6, 2016 at 1650 hours, officers of the Eureka Police Department responded to an emergency assist call from a California Highway Patrol officer for a fleeing suspect. The CHP officer said the fleeing man was armed with a weapon. Additional citizens reported the suspect’s direction and the fact that he was armed with a gun. EPD officers soon located Clayton Lee Lasinski (09/11/1990) and ultimately fired numerous rounds at him. Lasinski was struck once and taken into custody. Lasinski was taken to Saint Joseph Hospital by medics where he was treated, and he is expected to survive his injury.
The officer’s names were not released until now due to an on-line threat concerning the shooting. The officers who fired rounds are:
Ron Harpham May 28, 1991
Abraham Jansen November 1, 2013
Steven Linfoot August 1, 2013
Dustin Nantz February 1, 2014
Each of the officers involved in this incident have been placed on administrative duties until cleared duty.
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