Police Search for Aaron Bassler as Fort Bragg Residents Worry

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Over this last week, the search for Aaron Bassler, suspect in the deaths of Jere Melo and Matthew Coleman, has led to serious disruptions in the lives of Mendocino County residents.  On Monday, law enforcement locked down the Fort Bragg middle school.  Fortunately, it was after hours and only three classes were still being held. Reportedly, Bassler had been seen in the area.

However, the only confirmed sighting of Bassler has been on Sunday, Sept. 4th.  Deputies saw him and a well-known local police dog, Dutch, chased him reputedly returning with an item of the suspect’s clothing. Since then, between 30 to 40 officers have searched the land around the Skunk Train tracks nearly every day. According to the Press Democrat’s excellent Friday, Sept. 16th story,

Authorities believe Bassler is traveling mostly in a 19-mile long corridor between Fort Bragg and Northspur, an west-to-east path that roughly parallels the Skunk Train tourist railroad, which runs from Fort Bragg to Willits.

Each day, search teams have pushed into deeper parts of that area. They’ve run across places where Bassler appears to have bedded down or cabins he may have raided for food and other items.

“Some of those (break-ins) we’re unsure who’s responsible,” Van Patten said. “But there’s no doubt he’s obtaining food and supplies that way.”

Authorities continue to receive five to 10 tips a day about Bassler’s whereabouts. They investigate each one, Van Patten said.

He said some of the spots where Bassler appears to have visited are miles apart, suggesting he is frequently on the move, covering rugged ground in a relatively short amount of time.

Residents are frustrated and worried. Some of them complaining that they feel as if they are being “held hostage.” Parents are keeping their children in and the last days of summer are passing without residents feeling able to enjoy the outdoors freely.

Meanwhile, costs mount in an already money strapped county.

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15 comments

  • When a man races his truck 90miles per hour, drunk, through a neighbor hood, actually plowing into a school, WOW You arrest him and charge him with a typical DUI. You don’t see any suicidal tendencies in this behavior? alcohol brings out the truth in people. What if an old 76 year old woman were walking her poodle that night? What if a juvenile runaway were out that night? what about anyone out that night and in his path way? Would he have had to hit or kill someone in that incident in order for the system to agree that Aaron Bassler needed mental help. He was screaming for help through the alcohol and drugs THAT night. Why in the world did he not go from jail into a mental institution for extensive evaluation??? He put all of us at jeopardy that night and so did our SYSTEM. Melo and matthew would be alive and Aaron may have been detoxing off the street drugs. The only drugs that are actually more readily available for him to medicate on. What do you think Aaron was medicating for? why do you think he drove 90miles an hour in a suicide race to kill himself and others? Alcohol is just to cover the surface. Come on Mendocino, the man needed more consideration than he got. Didn’t he throw a homemade bomb at the Chinese embassy before this wild goose chase drive? How many signs can you ignore? I don’t blame his family for being frightened of him now. We are all to blame in so many ways. People are responsible for every word and action of behavior that influences our youth in a negative impact. People should be more accountable for the agendas and opinions they push around. There is nothing free about influencing our brothers and sisters in a adverse negative way of thinking. What if this were your child?

  • Shoot to kill the scum, there’s people locked and loaded waiting for the punk.

    • Thats exactly what will happen J.W. when they find him. I just wish they’d let a group of hunters go in with guns & dogs to hunt him like wild game.
      Save the taxpayers some money and hunters can get a kill out of their system……JK, NOT!!

  • Shoot to kill the scum, there’s people locked and loaded waiting for the punk.

    • Thats exactly what will happen J.W. when they find him. I just wish they’d let a group of hunters go in with guns & dogs to hunt him like wild game.
      Save the taxpayers some money and hunters can get a kill out of their system……JK, NOT!!

  • Has any police force that is looking for him thought about searching any computers hard drives from family members, I bet the could find out alot more about him. Its a sad situation every one involved. As for the system in the USA sucks,its no wonder every one is loosing it.

  • Has any police force that is looking for him thought about searching any computers hard drives from family members, I bet the could find out alot more about him. Its a sad situation every one involved. As for the system in the USA sucks,its no wonder every one is loosing it.

  • i always check your blog, and i keep thinking of the all the people that live in this area and how scary it must be having this guy running around still.

    i bet they shoot him when they find him.

  • i always check your blog, and i keep thinking of the all the people that live in this area and how scary it must be having this guy running around still.

    i bet they shoot him when they find him.

  • I agree, Aaron Bassler is a dead man. I wish we understood schizophrenia and other adult-onset mental illnesses better. Perhaps these kinds of situations could be averted if we did.

  • I agree, Aaron Bassler is a dead man. I wish we understood schizophrenia and other adult-onset mental illnesses better. Perhaps these kinds of situations could be averted if we did.

  • I see a lot of inconsiderate, blow hard, flap, ignorant, obtuse comments here. No one is a psychic, so second guessing what could have, would have, might have happened is redundant.
    ps. http://www.dictionary.com , in case you need to look up the meanings of certain words.

  • I see a lot of inconsiderate, blow hard, flap, ignorant, obtuse comments here. No one is a psychic, so second guessing what could have, would have, might have happened is redundant.
    ps. http://www.dictionary.com , in case you need to look up the meanings of certain words.

  • The spelling and definition of a word can be found in the dictionary, but that does not ensure proper grammatical use of a word in a sentence, or correct use of punctuation. Some of the previous comments in this thread indicate that there are people out there who feel compassion not only for the victims of Aaron Bassler, but for Aaron’s family, and, yes, Aaron himself. There is also a contingent who would shoot him on sight. I do not consider compassion inconsiderate, ignorant, or obtuse. Stating the probable outcome of this tragic situation is not being a blow hard, nor is it a lot of flap. And, while there are many people who want to demonize Aaron for his behavior, it would only be demonic if he was not mentally ill. Evil does what it does because it is evil. The mentally ill are ill. I see a huge difference between killing for greed, anger, revenge or pleasure, and killing because you are hallucinating or have lost touch with reality. I think we need to understand mental illness much better than we do to be able to discern the difference. If Aaron is, indeed, mentally ill, perhaps none of this would have happened with proper treatment. And anyone who doesn’t think this will end with Aaron being shot is much more optimistic than myself.

  • The spelling and definition of a word can be found in the dictionary, but that does not ensure proper grammatical use of a word in a sentence, or correct use of punctuation. Some of the previous comments in this thread indicate that there are people out there who feel compassion not only for the victims of Aaron Bassler, but for Aaron’s family, and, yes, Aaron himself. There is also a contingent who would shoot him on sight. I do not consider compassion inconsiderate, ignorant, or obtuse. Stating the probable outcome of this tragic situation is not being a blow hard, nor is it a lot of flap. And, while there are many people who want to demonize Aaron for his behavior, it would only be demonic if he was not mentally ill. Evil does what it does because it is evil. The mentally ill are ill. I see a huge difference between killing for greed, anger, revenge or pleasure, and killing because you are hallucinating or have lost touch with reality. I think we need to understand mental illness much better than we do to be able to discern the difference. If Aaron is, indeed, mentally ill, perhaps none of this would have happened with proper treatment. And anyone who doesn’t think this will end with Aaron being shot is much more optimistic than myself.

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