Humboldt Co. Sheriff’s Deputy Confronted by Group of Angry Transients in Garberville, 911 Call Needed to Bring the Officer Assistance
Kym Kemp / Saturday, Aug. 30 @ 7:50 p.m. / News
Photo caption: According to a witness, the first to be handcuffed was the man in the white hat. (Image provided by a reader.)
On Tuesday, August 26, a Humboldt County Sheriff’s deputy and a large number of transients became embroiled in a loud and hostile altercation that made several citizens fear for the officer’s safety. 911 was called to bring him assistance.
Southern Humboldt is a community increasingly divided about the large population of transients who camp near towns and frequent the streets. Some residents and business owners, citing anti-social behavior on the part of the homeless, have been trying to keep large groups of the homeless from congregating in clumps on the sidewalks and near the shops. According to Lt. Steve Knight of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, Ray’s Food Place in Garberville has “an ongoing request to move people who loiter in their lot.”
In the late afternoon on Tuesday, a sheriff’s deputy, seeing a number of men with what he described as large backpacks and a possible open container of alcohol on Ray’s Food Place’s property, requested they move along. According to Knight, some of the men refused.
One, Knight said, “became agitated and did not do what he was told.” According to Knight, the officer detained that man in handcuffs. Then he detained another.
One person who provided the photo (see right) and preferred to be anonymous wrote, “[The] guy in [the] white hat didn’t speak English and got whooped by the cop…, so did another that yelled police brutality.”
According to Knight, eight to ten other transients “started yelling, became hostile and refused to back up.”
“Passing motorists and pedestrians, several citizens got involved and came to the officer’s aid,” said Knight.
One of those who came to help the officer is Garberville firefighter, Alfred Williams.
Williams described what he saw to the Lost Coast Outpost. “We were just clearing a smoke check at the transient camp on Sprowel Creek Rd.” Williams said he heard “the officer call for back up code 3 … [I] saw him in front of Ray’s with 20+ [transients] yelling, photographing and videoing him.” Williams continued to describe the scene:
When l stopped there were 2 males detained and [the officer] was taking down a male he had directed multiple times to leave. I asked if he needed any assistance and he told me to watch one male who wasn’t detained and to try to keep the public at a safe distance until CHP arrived to assist.
People were yelling that he can’t do that to people and were mad at him taking the guy down but l personally didn’t see the officer do anything wrong or excessive.
Williams said that he saw three CHP units arrive to assist the beleaguered deputy. Later, he believes, another sheriff’s vehicle arrived.
Sai McCrady, who works nearby, explained that when he arrived around 5:30 p.m. reinforcements for the officer had arrived. He said he saw multiple law enforcement on the scene. According to McCrady, there were many “police vehicles, mostly cruisers with at least one truck.” He described the scene looking like the “OK Corral standoff between a small force of Police and Transients.”
Then, McCrady said that he also saw “many transients either being questioned or bystanding.”
According to Williams, the tense standoff calmed down after the officer explained “his actions to some of the people complaining and l think they then understood his actions, or at least saw his point of view.”
Lt. Knight stated, “People were detained, but there were no arrests.”
Kym Kemp / Saturday, Aug. 30 @ 12:44 p.m. / Fire!
There have been two fires this morning. According to George Monroe, the first was a log smoldering at Shelter Cove. This, Monroe said, was probably a result of a campfire. It was quickly dealt with.
Then before noon, PG&E lines went down near Sprowl Creek Road and started a small fire. The flames were quickly extinguished. However, the power is out in Sprowl Creek right now. According to PG&E, 92 customers are without power. The estimated time for restoration is 3:30 p.m.
Andrew Goff / Friday, Aug. 29 @ 9:50 a.m. / marijuana
Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office press release:
On 08-27-2014, at approximately 10:00 a.m. Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office deputies, assisted by members of the Campaign Against Marijuana Planting, drove to Barnum Timber Company property between Sprowl Creek and Whitethorn, Southern Humboldt County. When deputies arrived they located a large marijuana garden containing 1366 growing marijuana plants ranging in size from 4’ to 5’ tall, along with a campsite. There were no suspects on scene. The deputies saw environmental damage to the property including trees being removed to make clearings for the marijuana, rodenticides and water being drafted from a nearby creek to water the marijuana plants.
There are no suspects at this time, the investigation is ongoing.
Anyone with information for the Sheriffs Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriffs Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriffs Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.
Breaking News: Orleans Student Who Was the Subject of Intense Search Found Dead in Fatal Car Accident
Kym Kemp / Thursday, Aug. 28 @ 10:19 p.m. / News
Today, an Orleans man, Lucius Robbi, who was the subject of an intense search after he went missing between his summer job in Idaho and the first day of his junior year in college, has been found dead at the scene of a car accident near Stanley Lake in Custer County, Idaho.
A family friend posted the information about Robbi’s death this evening on the Facebook page, Finding Lucius. Just after 9 p.m., the Facebook account belonging to Robbi’s mother posted on the page,
The family of Lucius Robbi wants to thank all of the many friends who came together to search for him. You were all amazing, and the overwhelming outpouring of love and the heroic effort you made to find Lucius created a bond between you and all of us that will connect us forever.
We are touched as well by the support of so many who did not even know our family, but showed their humanity and tremendous generosity at such a difficult time through countless acts of kindness.
The Facebook page is filling up with memories and photos of the young man.
The Lost Coast Outpost extends its sympathy to the many friends and family of Lucius Robbi and its gratitude to all who helped in the search.
Kym Kemp / Thursday, Aug. 28 @ 2:52 p.m. / marijuana
For the last several days, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office has been assisted by CAMP (Campaign Against Marijuana Planting) while conducting raids in Southern Humboldt. On Tuesday, they were in Blocksburg where they eradicated over 10,000 plants. On Wednesday, they were in Whitethorn where they took out 1366 plants.
Today, according to Lt. Steve Knight of the Sheriff’s Office, the two law enforcement agencies are back in Blocksburg. A reader reports they have their helicopter with them.
Lt Knight said there have been over 1000 plants counted already. And more are expected to be taken. It will be a long day in the field for all the officers, Knight said. He promised photos and a press release tomorrow.
According to Steve Knight of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, the Campaign Against Marijuana Planting (CAMP) assisted his department in a marijuana related raid today. Knight said that a helicopter was used to access the site of an illegal garden on private timber lands in the Whitethorn area of Southern Humboldt.
Knight said that CAMP is temporarily helping eradicate cannabis gardens that the Sheriff’s Department has identified as sites of interest. CAMP will be working with the Sheriff’s Department in other raids but Knight declined to state how long that agency will be in the area aiding local officers.
Yesterday, CAMP assisted the Sheriff’s Office in a raid in the Blocksburg area.
Andrew Goff / Wednesday, Aug. 27 @ 3:12 p.m. / marijuana
Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office press release:
On 8-26-2014, at approximately 10:00 a.m. Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office deputies, assisted by members of the Campaign Against Marijuana Planting and the Humboldt County Drug Task Force drove to an area just north of Blocksburg. At the open field location, deputies eradicated 10,276 growing marijuana plants ranging from 6” to 9’ tall. The plants were grown on three different parcels, all on private property. There were no residences or structure in the area. Deputies also located two large water lines drafting water from a nearby creek to water the marijuana plants.
No suspects were located at the scene, and the investigation is ongoing. The case is also being referred to the California Fish and Wildlife for an investigation into possible environmental crimes.
Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.