Motorcyclist Attempting to Flee Yesterday Was Carrying Pounds of Marijuana, Says Sheriff’s Office

201505755 Howatt (1)Arthur Howatt age 41 from Fortuna was arrested yesterday after he fled east on Hwy 36 driving a motorcycle with a Humboldt County Sheriff’s deputy in pursuit. (See earlier post here.)

According to Selena Zorrilla-Mendoza, a Community Service Officer with the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, the deputy did not see license plate when he initially saw the motorcyclist about 2 p.m. The deputy attempted to pull over Howatt who fled.

Howatt was discovered to have had a felony warrant for evading law enforcement previously.

Howatt, Selena Zorrilla-Mendoza said, evaded the officer for over 37 miles until he eventually deliberately drove off road with his motorcycle. He quickly ran out of gas and then fled on foot carrying a backpack. The deputy was able to detain him at gunpoint.

When he was detained, it was discovered that his backpack contained three pounds of marijuana, said Zorrilla-Mendoza. Howatt was arrested for evading a peace officer with disregard of for public safety, possession of marijuana for sale and for his previous warrant.

UPDATE: Press release:

On Wednesday, December 2, 2015 at approximately 2:03 p.m. a Humboldt County Deputy Sheriff observed a motorcycle that appeared to have no plate heading east bound on Hwy 36 at Murrish’s Market in Hydesville. When the Deputy attempted a traffic stop the motorcyclist accelerated hard and passed a car by crossing over the double yellow line. The Deputy pursued and the motorcyclist slowed to below 50mph but would not yield. The motorcyclist slowed even more and reached speeds in the 20mph range. Speeds continued to range from between approximately 20 and 50mph. The Deputy soon observed a plate and the registered owner of the motorcycle was contacted and advised that Arthur John Howatt was most likely riding the motorcycle at this time. A records check showed Howett to have a felony warrant for evading. At Milepost 34.4 the motorcyclist ran out of gas and attempted to flee on foot. A Bureau of Land Management ranger was assisting and used his 4wd vehicle to pursue the suspect a short distance up a steep muddy road at which point the suspect surrendered without incident. Howatt was found to be in possession of three pounds of marijuana which was located in Howatt’s back pack. Howatt stated he was fleeing because of being in possession of the marijuana. Howatt added that he is a novice rider and was maintaining a slow speed because he did not want anyone to get hurt.

Howatt was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where he was booked for VC2800.2 – Evading a Peace Officer with disregard to safety; HS11359 – Possession of Marijuana for Sale; HS11360(A) – Transport/Sale of Marijuana.

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.



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