[UPDATE 10:03 p.m.] Woman Barricaded in Her Home; Threatening to Burn Down Her House
Law enforcement is on the scene of a residence in 4500 block of Valley West Boulevard in Northern Arcata as of approximately 5:30 p.m. Fire and medical have been requested to respond as the resident, a woman, has barricaded herself in her home and threatened to burn it down.
“There’s a strong odor of gas,” reports someone from the scene. Reportedly, the woman has five gallons of gas, according to scanner traffic.
UPDATE 5:55 p.m.: The woman has a stuffed animal tied around her neck. It is unknown if the animal is doused with gasoline, the person at the scene tells dispatch. Below is a clip of the scanner as they discuss the situation.
[All audio clips by Bobby Kroeker]
UPDATE 6 p.m.: Valley West Boulevard is now being closed.
UPDATE 6:33 p.m.: Lisa Hayden took the following photo of emergency vehicles gathered near the scene.
UPDATE 6:41 p.m.: The woman is reportedly pouring more gas in the room.
UPDATE 7:05 p.m.: Some nearby residents have been evacuated, according to the scanner.
UPDATE 7:10 p.m.: A phone is being dropped through a window to the woman so that hopefully, she will communicate with law enforcement. Portable lights have also been requested as law enforcement prepares to take the time needed to deal with the situation.
UPDATE 7:53 p.m.: Officers threw a bottle of water in the window for the woman. Though in the past she carried a hammer and an axe, she no longer is carrying either when she went to retrieve the water.
UPDATE 8 p.m.: According to reporter Mark McKenna who is on the scene, “The police and others are at the door of the residence. It’s a narrow path with a fence behind them….Two officers have bean bag guns. [An] officer said they were confident she did not have any firearm.”
UPDATE 8:10 p.m.: Officer tells dispatch that they’ve had “brief dialogue” with the woman.
UPDATE 8:21 p.m.: Neighbors tell us that the woman has been banging on stuff all day and was screaming about something. She has also been asking about the Mendocino Sheriff’s Department. They also said she started talking about her daughter being taken away today.
UPDATE 8:24 p.m.: The woman stepped “completely outside”. Then she stepped back in the house, according to law enforcement at the scene talking over the scanner.
UPDATE 8:40 p.m.: Mental health workers are being taken to the door. They are calling out to her that they are here to help her. The woman is asking for a flashlight so she can change her clothes. According to neighbors, earlier, the woman’s daughter was taken by Child Welfare Services.
UPDATE 10:03 p.m: We don’t know exactly what occurred but the woman is with law enforcement and is going to Mad River Hospital with an officer.