Safety and Public Awareness

Safety and Public Awareness

News reporting arrests, weather warnings, product recalls, and other important information relating to safety and public awareness, are found in this category.

On July 20, 2011 two people were shot at the Bu Shay Campground located at Lake Mendocino in Redwood Valley, California. One of the shooting victims, Joseph Litteral, subsequently died. Earlier police investigations resulted in the arrest of two suspects in this murder case, Marvin D. Johnson Jr., 33 and Simon Thornton age 22.  Then, according to a Mendocino County Sheriff's Office press release dated September 3, 2011, on September 3, 2011, at approximately 5 PM, law enforcement learned from a source that another suspect in this murder case, Arone Schnebly was in the Willits area and that the suspect was likely in a vehicle. Willits Police made a vehicle stop and found the suspect inside the vehicle. Schnebly was subsequently arrested and booked in the Mendocino County Jail by Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Detectives.
The fourth suspect wanted in connection with a fatal shooting in July at a Mendocino County campground was arrested Thursday, September 15, 2011,  in Willits. William Hale Crocker, 30, was arrested sometime after 2:15 p.m. when Mendocino County Sheriff's deputies, acting on a tip, found him at a house in the 400 block of Mill Street.
Murder suspect William Hale Crocker, age 30
According to a news release from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office, dated September 2, 2011- (this report updates two recent murders in Mendocino County):
On August 11, 2011, Matthew Coleman was shot and killed in a remote area located near the 44000 block of North Highway One (1) near Westport, CA. On August 27, 2011, Jere Melo was shot and killed in an area approximately six (6) miles east of Fort Bragg, CA. Both victims were shot and killed while conducting duties related to their forestry management profession. Mendocino County Sheriff's Detectives are continuing to collect evidence, speaking with witnesses and conferring with both the California Department of Justice Forensic Laboratory analysts and the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office.
Based on evidence collected at both murder scenes during this ongoing investigation, the Mendocino County Sheriff's Detectives have obtained an arrest warrant for Suspect Aaron Bassler in connection with the shooting deaths of victims Matthew Coleman and Jere Melo. Mendocino County Sheriff's Office personnel,with the assistance of officers and agents from the Fort Bragg Police Department,  Willits Police Department, Ukiah Police Department, CalFIRE, California Department of Justice, California Highway Patrol, California Fish and Game, Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Marshall's Office, United States National Guard and the local timber industry are continuing their search efforts in an attempt to apprehend Suspect Aaron Bassler.
Below is a photo of wanted murder suspect, Aaron Bassler:


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Robbery at gunpoint in Eureka

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According to a Eureka Police Department press release, dated August 30, 2011:

On August 30, 2011, at about 1:55 PM, Eureka Police Department (EPD) Officers were dispatched to the vicinity of Hodgson and ‘O’ Streets on the report of an armed robbery that had just occurred.  Upon officers’ arrival, the visibly shaken male victim recounted the following to them. The victim stated he was parked in his pick-up truck waiting for his wife approximately a block and a half from Sequoia Park when he was approached by the unknown male suspect.  The suspect asked for a ride.  He then produced a stainless steel handgun and took the victim’s wallet from him at gunpoint.  The suspect then fled on foot and the victim followed him.  The victim last saw the suspect entering Sequoia Park at the trailhead near Hodgson and ‘O’ Streets.
The suspect was described as a white male adult, mid to late twenties, approximately 6-3, 200 pounds, with wispy reddish colored facial hair.  He was last seen wearing a black zippered hooded sweatshirt, blue jeans, and a black beanie cap. Assisted by State Parole agents and Highway Patrol officers, EPD officers quickly set up a perimeter around the park.  Due to their availability, a K-9 team from the Arcata Police Department responded to assist with a search for the suspect.  A team of officers accompanied by the K-9 unit then entered the park and conducted an unsuccessful search for the suspect. The suspect was not located and he remains unidentified and outstanding as of the time of this release.  
Anyone with information concerning this robbery is asked to call the Eureka Police Department (707-441-4060).  Please direct your inquiries/information to the lead investigator, Senior Detective Ron Harpham, at 707-441-4305.  Detective Harpham is also looking to speak with a female witness who was driving a small minivan.  The witness reportedly saw the victim flee from his vehicle near Bryant and ‘N’ Streets.  

According to a press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, dated August 30, 2011:

On August 30, 2011, approximately 9:00 a.m.  the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office was notified by staff at South Fork High School, Miranda, that a pipe bomb was blown up at the school the night before. Deputies responded to the school and met with staff. Deputies were told that a janitor heard a large explosion on the school field on Monday, August 29, 2011, around 9:00 p.m. After learning of the explosion this morning, school officials notified law enforcement immediately. The school was checked for other destructive devices and none were located.
School officials told the deputies they also learned a neighbor near the school had heard a large explosion on Sunday night, August 28, 2011. The deputies checked the area near the press box in the High School Football field and found several pieces of PVC pipe, along with indentations in the ground, consistent with large explosions. A deputy with the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Bomb Squad responded and is assisting with the investigation. 
Anyone with information on this crime is requested to contact the Humboldt County Sheriffs Office at 707-445-7251. 
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