[UPDATE 10:03 p.m.] Woman Barricaded in Her Home; Threatening to Burn Down Her House

Breaking NewsLaw 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.

Medical and fire trucks
UPDATE 6:40 p.m.: According to a grave-sounding officer at the scene, “The subject is asking us to shoot her.” Here’s the audio clip.

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.

Law enforcement around a vehicle

Earlier tonight law enforcement discussed what to do.[Photo by Mark McKenna]



  • If you can read this:
    You Are Loved.
    Quit doing things that change our minds, please.

  • Love stipulated?

    Wait what? You only send love if she stops doing this? Its pretty hard to feel loved these days, so if youre proposing sending love with a stipulation then just stop. Unconditional love or nothing please.
    Cant blame her, its very easy to fall into a dire situation these days. Medi-cal jyst abruptly stopped paying for a number of medications so she may be having a breakdown due to that.
    If youve never had to be in the system youre lucky, trying to survive with a physical/mental injury is a feat. Maybe when people want to go we should let them. Who are we to say?
    In the severe chronic pain community we call those people brave. You can judge all you want but if you havent been through it you have no idea the struggle it takes to live each day and the energy it takes to keep going.

    • Sending blessings!

    • Shut your fat face.

    • Love stipulated, beautifully said. Thank you.

    • She does this every other night. She is cared for by the people living here and literally leaves screaming around 1 am every other night with someone following her trying to calm her down.

      She wakes everyone and refuses help.

      Every. Other. Night.

      • I bet your love has worn thin… We’ve had a few in our neighborhood. Not every night though, the other irritable people would not have that…

    • You call wanting to die instead of living with chronic pain brave?! I live with chronic pain every day and I’ll be danged if I’d ever take the easy way out. Living life in pain is brave. Giving up is easy.

    • Thank you Love stipulated, for what you said. I was thinking the same. Bravo to you 🙂

    • I’m sorry but you are horrible. I went through this exact situation in Arcata only the woman did start the apartment on fire. The victims are the innocent people in the surrounded apartments. Love is conditional. If you are someone who acts like this trying to extort love from people…you don’t deserve love. Get your act together and then maybe you will.

  • Thank you for reporting and keeping this updated! My sister lives in this complex and had to evacuate, and this blog is my only way to know what’s going on.

  • In my opinion…. I don’t know the situation, but please give her what she needs. A warm place and some some help. Hoping for a safe outcome

  • *child welfare services

  • She is detained.

  • How terribly sad. 🙁

  • Thank God she is okay and getting the help she needs.

  • Hope she is now able to get the help she needs.

  • She literally does this every other night. I live across the street. If it’s not one thing it’s another.

    Not only do we deal with her but also vehicle break ins as well as domestic disturbances on the regular.

    Your pity is naively placed.

  • This is usually the point when people with mental problems, start spiraling down hill and end up lost and on the streets. The Mental Health help in this area is terrible. We don’t have enough GOOD psychiatrist, doctors, or counselors in this area that want to really help those who need the help. I know that the pay in this area isn’t that great, but it shouldn’t be completely about money, it should be about helping the mentally ill get the help they need to keep them off the streets.

  • The lady is so lucky they didn’t shoot her like they did that mentally ill woman down on 2nd Street quite a few years back

  • Thank you for not killin this lady, positive energy to all involved.

  • Glad this ended without this woman dying. Hopefully, she gets help and moves forward.

  • What an exhaustive day for the emergency crew! I’m so relieved she is at the hospital, hopefully getting the right for her meds. Fantastic work ladies & gentlemen!

  • It’s good to hear that the situation came to a peaceful conclusion.

  • At least she wasn’t shot. Asking for help doesn’t come easy for some folks. Bless you all.

  • Michelle Guthrie

    Good job de-escalating the situation without violence. I hope she gets the help she needs. Very sad.

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