Hostile Crowd at Testa Vineyards Has Altercation with Law Enforcement
Clyde Martinson on the left. James Thompson on the right.
Mendocino Co. Sheriff’s Office Press Release:
On 9/8/2013 around 12:27 AM Deputies responded to an agency assistance call from the California Highway Patrol regarding the report of subjects riding golf carts on the roadway between Testa Vineyards (6400 North State Street) and the downtown Calpella area. The first responding deputy arrived where he was told by a citizen, the golf carts were coming from the Testa Vineyards parking lot. The deputy responded to that location where he contacted numerous individuals who appeared to have been drinking, one of whom indicated he had been giving people rides from the Testa Vineyard parking lot to an off-site parking lot in downtown Calpella.
The deputy was then confronted by Clyde Martinson who was belligerent, intoxicated, and demanded the deputy leave the location. As the deputy was dealing with the crowd, another golf cart being driven by an unidentified person, approached the scene and crashed into an object in the parking lot. As the deputy approached that cart to determine if anyone was injured, Martinson threw a beer can at the deputy and then shoved the deputy, again demanding he leave the location. The deputy then called for additional units to respond due to the hostile crowd surrounding him. Martinson was eventually wrestled to the ground by some members of the crowd and restrained.
Additional deputies, members of the Ukiah Police Department, California Highway Patrol, and Coyote Valley Tribal Police all responded to assist with the hostile crowd. It was then learned that some unknown person had stolen an ignition key from one of the deputy’s patrol vehicle. The key was later returned to the deputy.
At one point James Thompson approached officers in an agitated and belligerent manner. Thompson was obviously intoxicated and was subsequently arrested for public intoxication and placed into the rear of a patrol unit.
Martinson was then contacted, where he was still being restrained, and taken into custody for battery on a peace officer and public intoxication. Martinson physically resisted during the arrest and was also charged with resisting arrest.
While Martinson was being arrested an unknown person succeeded in releasing Thomson from the patrol vehicle and he escaped while handcuffed. Deputies searched for Thompson but were unable to find him. Martinson was transported and booked into the County Jail.
On 9/8/13 around 10:25 AM Thompson responded to the Sheriff’s Office in Ukiah and surrendered himself to deputies. He had several injuries to his wrists where it appeared the handcuffs were cut off, after his escape. He as then booked into the County Jail.
Deputies subsequently received an anonymous tip, identifying Charlene Testa, as the person responsible for releasing Thompson from the patrol vehicle, aiding his escape. Testa was contacted and interviewed where she admitted she was responsible for Thompson’s release. A case was submitted to the District Attorney’s office for review of a charge of lynching against Testa.
The case was submitted to the District Attorney’s Office for review of charges and to the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control for review of possible sanctions against the holder of the liquor license of Testa Vineyards.
The investigation is continuing. Anyone with information identifying anyone aiding the escape or release of Thompson is encouraged the contact the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office at (707)234-2100.