Monday, June 17, 2019

Four Timber Protesters Arrested in Rio Dell

Posted By on Mon, Jun 17, 2019 at 1:36 PM

The 24-foot ladder and protester which blocked the entrance to Humboldt Redwood Co. - HUMBOLDT COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE
  • Humboldt County Sheriff's Office
  • The 24-foot ladder and protester which blocked the entrance to Humboldt Redwood Co.

Before dawn this morning, four protesters were arrested after they allegedly blocked off the entry gate to Humboldt Redwood Co. property on Monument Road in Rio Dell.

According to a Humboldt County Sheriff's press release, when deputies arrived around 3:45 a.m. they found 15 protestors and a 24-foot ladder attached to the company’s gate and tied to several neighboring trees with one protester, Isabel Osheroff, having climbed to the top.

The logging company began timber harvesting plans along Rainbow Ridge, which lies in the Mattole River watershed west of Redcrest, earlier this month. Protests in this area first began July of 2018, when HRC initiated its logging activities on the ridge. Protesters then said they were trying to protect 1,100 acres of “pristine” forest (which they defined as trees that have not been logged) that mostly consisted of old-growth Douglas fir.

Michael John Gammariello, Brittany Krystal Soohoo and Georgia Hanrahan Doremus were arrested and booked into the Humboldt County jail on suspicion of trespassing, resisting arrest and impeding traffic. Sheriff's deputies, with the help of county public works employees, were able to safely take Osheroff down from the ladder, according to the release. She was also arrested on suspicion of  trespassing.

An earlier press release sent by the Bay Area Coalition for Headwaters said protesters began demonstrating June 8, when a tree sitter climbed a centuries-old tree that he or she continues to occupy the tree. “The demonstration this morning is, in part, in solidarity and support of the tree-sitter, who goes by the name Rook,” the release stated.

 From the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office:

Four arrested for trespassing during logging protest
Deputy attempts to safely remove protester from ladder while in a boom truck
On June 17, 2019, at about 3:42 a.m., Humboldt County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to Monument Road, in the county's jurisdiction of Rio Dell, for the report of protesters blocking an access gate to Humboldt Redwood Company property.

When deputies arrived on scene, they located about 15 protesters, in addition to an approximately 24-foot ladder standing in front of the gate, tethered to nearby trees with a subject at the top.

Three protesters, Michael John Gammariello, 32, Brittany Krystal Soohoo, 25, of Los Angeles, and Georgia Hanrahan Doremus, 32, of Arcata, were taken into custody and booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility on charges of trespassing, resisting arrest and impeding traffic.

Humboldt County Public Works responded and deployed a boom truck to assist deputies in lowering the ladder in front of the gate. The protester on the ladder, Isabel Xochitl Osheroff, 24, of Berkeley, CA, was safely taken into custody and booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility on charges of trespassing.

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind the public to obey all laws when protesting a cause. Sheriff’s deputies will continue to respond as needed to Monument Road if further violations of state law occur.

From the Bay Area Coalition of Headwaters: 

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Saturday, June 15, 2019

Fortuna Man Arrested After Threatening Church Group, Referencing Mass Killings

Posted By on Sat, Jun 15, 2019 at 9:39 AM

Humboldt State University - FILE
  • File
  • Humboldt State University
An 18-year-old Fortuna man was arrested this morning after allegedly making criminal threats against a church group that planned to visit Humboldt State University, with the threats making reference to a pair of mass shootings.

University Police Chief Donn Peterson told the Journal that Sean Allman made the threats via text messages to church members, with some of the messages referencing mass shootings at a New Zealand mosque and Columbine High School.

“The congregants communicated through their network, their church, and a person there reached out to authorities here in Humboldt County that included UPD and Fortuna PD,” Peterson said, adding that local police learned of the threats yesterday afternoon.

Peterson said it’s still unclear why Allman allegedly directed these threats at this particular church group. According to a UPD press release, Allman lives in Fortuna with his family and is not an HSU student.

While Allman is currently in custody, UPD is asking the campus community to remain vigilant in the event he is released. UPD is distributing a flier asking anyone who sees Allman on campus to contact UPD immediately.

Asked if Allman had the means to carry out an attack or to follow through on his threats, Peterson said it’s not immediately clear, though he said it is incumbent upon UPD to take all threats seriously.

“If you’re going to make threats toward campus, idle or otherwise, and you’re going to invoke the memories of other mass killings to do it, we’re going to take those things very, very seriously,” he said.

See the full press release from UPD below.

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Friday, June 14, 2019

Canine Unit Sniffs Out 2 Pounds of Meth in Fortuna

Posted By on Fri, Jun 14, 2019 at 12:16 PM

  • FPD
A detective with the Fortuna Police Department uncovered 2 pounds of methamphetamine Wednesday during a routine traffic stop on Riverwalk Drive, according to a press release.

Detective Brian Taylor was on patrol when he watched a driver commit a traffic violation and pulled him over, at which time he “noticed the smell of marijuana coming from inside the vehicle,” the release states.

Since a Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office canine unit was already nearby, Taylor requested its assistance and the dog “immediately signaled that it sensed the presence of illegal narcotic,” according to the FPD.

During a search of the vehicle, “two packages were located in a duffle bag in the back seat area of the car which was determined to contain methamphetamine,” the release states.

The driver was interviewed and release while the passenger, 23-year-old Fortuna resident Miguel Carrillo Villalobos, was arrested on suspicion of transporting drugs for sale.

Read the full Fortuna Police Department release below:

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Friday, June 7, 2019

EPD Seeks Suspect in Possible Hate Crime

Posted By on Fri, Jun 7, 2019 at 2:05 PM

  • FILE
The Eureka Police Department is investigating an assault at Starbucks on Tuesday evening as a possible hate crime.

According to EPD spokesperson Brittany Powell, officers were dispatched to Starbucks at about 6:40 p.m. for a report of a fight between a man and two women. When they arrived, they found the suspect had fled the scene.

Letitia Gaillard, who is of mixed racial descent, says she was sitting at a table at the coffee shop with some friends when she stepped outside to smoke a cigarette, leaving her backpack and some other personal items on the table, knowing her good friend Aimee Upchurch would look after them. While Gaillard was outside, Upchurch says a man came to the table and asked if he could plug his phone into an electrical outlet there and she said it was fine.

Gaillard says that is when she returned inside she saw the man in her seat and politely asked him to move so she could sit back down. The man started mumbling, Upchurch said, calling Gaillard a “fat cow” and saying she “probably didn’t have a man but if she did he needed to come down there to suck his dick.”

Concerned, Upchurch says she started to get up and come around the the table when Gaillard, who hadn’t heard the man’s mutterings, again asked him for her seat back. At that point, Gaillard says the man stood up and said, “You’re nothing but a fucking nigger,” shoved her and then started to throw a punch. Upchurch then stepped between the two, taking the man’s punch on the left side of her jaw.

Gaillard, who says she comes from a military family and knows some self-defense, says she then began pushing the man back and keeping him off balance, at which point another Starbuck’s customer stepped in and separated them, keeping the man at a distance.

“I don’t know his name but I would really like to thank him,” Gaillard says. “He just said, ‘I’m sorry this happened to you guys and left.’”

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Monday, May 27, 2019

One Dead, One Hospitalized After Arcata Shooting

Posted By on Mon, May 27, 2019 at 9:45 AM

The scene of the shooting. - TONY WALLIN
  • Tony Wallin
  • The scene of the shooting.
One man is dead and another is hospitalized after a shooting near the intersection of Foster and Alliance in Arcata just before 10 p.m. Sunday.

The shooting reportedly occurred amid a marijuana sale-gone-wrong, when four Eureka men attempted to sell cannabis to a single buyer, Arcata Police Chief Brian Ahearn told Redwood News.

Ahearn said the buyer — a white male wearing a grey sweatsuit and a green camouflage jacket — pulled a handgun and opened fire, striking two of the sellers. The suspect then fled on foot and should be considered armed and dangerous, according to Ahearn.

As of 1 a.m. the suspect remained at large, Ahearn said.

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Saturday, May 25, 2019

Former Arcata Restaurant Owner Killed by New York Police

Posted By on Sat, May 25, 2019 at 9:23 AM

Luke Patterson - FACEBOOK
  • Facebook
  • Luke Patterson
Luke Patterson — the formerly local chef who opened Luke’s Joint and The Other Place in Arcata — was fatally shot by New York State Police around 2 a.m. Thursday while walking along Interstate 84 in the town of Montgomery, according to numerous news reports.

Patterson, 41, was unarmed but shot multiple times.

The New York Attorney General’s Office has announced it will investigate the shooting as a special prosecutor, as it does with all police killings of unarmed suspects in the state under an executive order signed by the governor in 2015.

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Sunday, May 19, 2019

Brazen Gun Theft Suspect Pleads Guilty, Most Weapons Still Unaccounted for

Posted By on Sun, May 19, 2019 at 8:25 AM

One of the stolen guns was used in the shooting of a University Police Department officer in 2017. - FILE
  • File
  • One of the stolen guns was used in the shooting of a University Police Department officer in 2017.
The Eureka man with an outlaw name who was behind a brazen gun theft at Pacific Outfitters nearly four years ago was recently sentenced to 33 months in prison after pleading guilty to the crime in federal court.

Jesse James Marquez was 19 when he cut power lines to the sporting goods store in August of 2015 to dismantle the alarm before breaking in through a skylight and proceeding to make off with the trove of 55 handguns that had been stored in a cabinet. Two weeks, later he took off to Oregon.

Since then, only 17 of the weapons have been recovered, according to the Eureka Police Department, with most found during criminal investigations — several drug-related from Southern Humboldt to Oregon and even out east in Georgia.

One was brandished by Ervin Eugene Sweat Jr. when he nearly killed University Police Department officer Louis Altic, who was shot in the leg in September of 2017 after responding to the Arcata Plaza on reports of a fight involving an armed suspect. Sweat was killed when Altic and another officer returned fire.

“In addition to the prison term, Judge Breyer sentenced Marquez to a three-year term of supervised release and ordered Marquez to pay restitution to Pacific Outfitters in the amount of $56,600,” a Department of Justice press release states.

The brash crime was one of the main reasons then Eureka Police Chief Andrew Mills proposed an ordinance — which he withdrew days later amid a public backlash — that would require gun owners and sellers within city limits to lock up their weapons when they weren’t home or a business was closed.

“People have the right to bear arms but that’s just the point — to bear arms. Not to leave them lying around unprotected,” Mills said at the time. “[The ordinance was] written specifically so if someone is home or at their business, they can have all the guns they want lying about, because they're in control of their firearms. It has nothing to do with ‘when somebody goes to bed at night, can they have a gun on their nightstand?’ Of course they can. This is America.”

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Wednesday, May 15, 2019

One Arrest in $1M Trinidad Heist of Jewelry, Gold Bars

Posted By on Wed, May 15, 2019 at 4:15 PM

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office today announced the arrest of one suspect in connection with a $1 million heist at a Trinidad residence last week.

Three to four suspects were reportedly involved in the May 11 burglary on the 1000 block of Stagecoach Road that was captured by a surveillance camera, making off with more than $200,000 worth of jewelry, in addition to gold bars, furs, coins and other items, according to Samantha Karges, spokesperson for the sheriff’s office.

According to the HCSO release, the vehicle believed to be involved was located by deputies Tuesday on the 200 block of Redmond Road in the Freshwater area, who searched the residence and found “several items of stolen property associated with the burglary in Trinidad.”

Eureka resident Steven Russel Buskirk, 40, was arrested on suspicion of burglary, possession of stolen property, conspiracy to commit a crime and possession of a controlled substance, the release states.

Karges wrote in an email to a Journal that she was unable to immediately confirm which items have not been recovered.

Read the release from the HCSO below:

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Monday, May 6, 2019

'In the Face of Evil:' EPD Honors Sharral McDonald with Service Award

Posted By on Mon, May 6, 2019 at 2:39 PM

Sharral McDonald's children Shelsey McDonald, Shayla Verbich and Shaun Bagley (for right), and her husband Phil McDonald, accepted the Valor Service Award on her behalf. - THADEUS GREENSON
  • Thadeus Greenson
  • Sharral McDonald's children Shelsey McDonald, Shayla Verbich and Shaun Bagley (for right), and her husband Phil McDonald, accepted the Valor Service Award on her behalf.
On the first anniversary of her death, the Eureka Police Department honored Sharral “Sherry” McDonald this morning for putting herself between a friend and the armed felon trying to kidnap her.

“Detectives assigned to the investigation noted that Sharral could have easily fled to safety at any time but, instead, became a shield to protect her friend from harm,” EPD Chief Steve Watson read from a letter to McDonald’s family. “The officers and staff at the Eureka Police Department can think of no finer example of an act of courage in the face of evil or of a citizen who is more deserving of the Valor Service Award.”

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Sunday, May 5, 2019

Dunaway Paroled 25 Years After Amber Slaughter Murder

Posted By on Sun, May 5, 2019 at 11:48 AM

Amber Slaughter with her grandfather. - SUBMITTED
  • Submitted
  • Amber Slaughter with her grandfather.
Thomas Jerome Dunaway is a free man, released from prison some 25 years after participating in the execution-style murder of a 14-year-old Eureka girl.

According to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Dunaway was paroled last month to the San Francisco area. While Dunaway had faced life in prison for the 1994 murder of Amber Slaughter on South Jetty, Francine Schulman told a parole board late last year she’d forgiven Dunaway for her daughter’s killing and wanted to see him released from prison. After extensively questioning Dunaway about the remorse he feels and what he’s done to change his life since entering prison as a teenager for a crime he committed while 17 and legally still a juvenile, the board deliberated for about 20 minutes before recommending he be paroled.

It was the second time the board had recommended Dunaway for parole. The first recommendation, made in 2017, was reversed by then Gov. Jerry Brown, who said Dunaway had remained violent through his early years in prison and didn’t express sufficient remorse for or insight into his actions. Current Gov. Gavin Newsom, however, declined to intervene.

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