[UPDATE 5:34 p.m.] Fortuna Police Have a Garage Surrounded and Are Telling the Occupants to Come Out With Their Hands Up

Law enforcement on Penn Street in Fortuna at a standoff.

Law enforcement on Penn Street in Fortuna at a standoff. [Photo by Raquel Thurman]

At approximately 1 p.m., Fortuna police surrounded a garage in the 1800 block of Penn Avenue. According to their crime page, they are dealing with a warrant suspect.

About 1:15 p.m., over a loudspeaker, they repeatedly asked people to surrender

“Come out with your hands in the air or we’ll send the dog in after you,” one officer said.

Later, an officer told the emergency dispatcher, “I’ve made multiple attempts with the PA to get the subject to come out. He has failed to comply.”

Sgt. Charles Ellebrecht confirmed that officers were at the scene by telephone. He wouldn’t go into details about the situation. He did say, “We are calling in additional agencies to assist us.”

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office is reportedly at the scene as of 2 p.m.

Please remember that information gathered from initial reports is subject to revision as more facts become available.

UPDATE 2:25 p.m.: Fortuna Police tweeted, “Police activity on Penn Avenue. Please stay away until all clear is given.”

UPDATE 2:30 p.m.: The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office just tweeted, “HCSO is assisting @FortunaPolice for a barricaded subject in Fortuna. Expect a heavy law enforcement presence in the area of Penn Avenue. Avoid area until further notice.

UPDATE 3:16 p.m.: A medical team is standing by. They are located near but not in sight of the incident, according to the scanner.

UPDATE 3:50 p.m.: According to Enoch Ibarra, a Crime Prevention Specialist with Fortuna Police, three people have been detained and one suspect may be more are barricaded in the garage on Penn Avenue.

“We have one that we are pretty sure is [the] barricaded subject,” Ibarra said. “We suspect we have more.”

The person believed to be in the garage is a Melvin Matthews, a suspect in a high-speed chase June 9 that traveled in the wrong lane through Fortuna and ended with a vehicle being stolen, Ibarra confirmed.

“[We received a] citizen’s tip that a vehicle that had been stolen was at the location,” Ibarra said. “When our officers made contact about 1 [p.m.], they apprehended three individuals. Then the other individual quickly barricaded himself inside.”

Ibarra confirmed the stolen vehicle was believed to be connected to the June 9 incident. “We are not absolutely sure,” he said but he said that he believed so.

Humboldt County Sheriff’s deputies and SWAT team are assisting the Fortuna Police as is a Eureka Police K9 unit and Cal Fire law enforcement, Ibarra confirmed.

UPDATE 4:22 p.m.: According to Sgt. Charles Ellebrecht of the Fortuna Police, “We are clearing the structure now.”

UPDATE 4:33 p.m.: Sgt. Charles Ellebrecht tells us that the suspect has been detained.

UPDATE 4:36 p.m.: Fortuna Police tweeted, “The scene on Penn Ave is now secure. We have the suspect in custody. Additional information to follow.”

UPDATE 5:34 p.m: Police Capture Wanted Felon After Three Hour Standoff



  • unbridled philistine

    Send in the tear gas then wait a few minutes and throw in the flash bang! Whoof! Up in smoke! That is how the FBI does stand offs!

  • Last time they did this the guy slipped away.

  • They finally caught Zach so maybe they’ll catch this guy too!!!

  • He’s just finishing off his meth n booze. He will be out when he’s done and released before the high where’s off

  • Fortuna instead of the friendly city it should read not so friendly .seems more scum is filtering in to Fortuna. I mean look at all the crap Sean Swanson is cleaning up where do you think it’s coming from Eureka where is law enforcement where are they watching these camps doing illegal activities such as shooting dope and leaving their needles everywhere little preventive maintenance would go a long way with the police presence in certain areas they know which ones they are Shawn showed them all

    • You stereotype, assuming this city is that way, that city is this way.

      That is FAR too simplistic. You slap labels on entire cities, and then you think you understand.

      This problem is widespread far beyond Humboldt, and beyond California. Where people are, these problems are.

    • Fortuna said no to all forms of cannabis. I think that is unfriendly.
      Cannabis could calm some people.

  • Lost Croat Outburst

    What is WITH all the barricading in friendly Fortuna?

  • Fun with Guns .We need more Guns.Their gonna take your guns.
    Obama didn’t take em Hillary didn’t take em you just fell into gun industry s trap and bought more guns.
    they did there job misinformation sells guns.

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