Brutal Attack in Garberville Town Square This Morning, Says Sheriff’s Office

This is a press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office. The information has not been proven in a court of law and any individuals described should be presumed innocent until proven guilty:

On 09-07-2016 at 5:38 a.m., the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Communication Center received a report of an assault that had just occurred at the Garberville Town Square. It was reported that a victim was brutally attacked and the suspects had fled the area.

Upon the Deputies arrival, it was determined the victim had sustained major life-threatening injuries. Due to the severity of the injuries, the victim was transported to an out of the area hospital for medical treatment.

Deputies were able to locate a blood trail that led to a residence in the 600 block of Locust Street, Garberville. Once there, Deputies were able to locate two suspects who were determined to be the assailants.



These suspects, Zachary Brown (age 22 from Redway), and a juvenile suspect, were placed under arrest for felony assault causing serious bodily injury. Because the second suspect is a minor, the identity of this person is being withheld.

Brown was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility and booked for felony assault. The minor was transported and booked into Humboldt County Juvenile Hall for the same charges.

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.
Mike Downe



  • Dam shame. I used to enjoy going down the hill to garberville, but I’ll be honest the past few years its turned into a place I try to avoid.

    Good on the hcso for catching this guy.

    In my opinion if there was more of a constant law enforcement presence in town we might have less tweakers and transients causing all this trouble.

    • These were local kids!!!!!!

    • No stopping for us when we pass into So Hum.
      Last time we did, a guy tried to break out our car windows at the gas station. He about got his head taken off by my German Shepard.

      • Yea ive been harrased at the gas stations a few times. Once I was filling up a barrel in the bed of my work truck. I had two of my workers with me, big el Salvadorians. Was approached by a drunk transient/homeless guy who wanted to sell us some “pounds”. We politely asked him to kick rocks, when he upped his aggression my workers dam near were ready to kick hiss a$$ but I told them to let him approach the truck and then told him id call the sherrif and pointed the gas nozel right in the tweakers face and asked him if he wanted a fuel shower.

        Garberville at night is sketchy.

    • So sad I grew up there in the 80’s and 90’s and this kind of stuff never happen..we use to hitch hike from Garberville to Whitethorn all the time.. sad to hear about all the bad stuff that goes on there now. 🙁

  • Does anyone know who was beaten?

  • Brown looks like he has been doing to much brown heroin dark circles much .

    • I agree Mogtx…….. I heard the elderly man that they beat in the Square died… Since then we have blocked off our town square and no transients are allowed… Too much drinking and heroin use. Disrespectful young people… Abusing Our Town Square. I sure wish we could find a solution. Trying to look up an ordinance so the sheriff will have a reason to actually take them to jail for trespassing… Maybe some signs no more loitering after dark and such… So the sheriff’s will have some say. Such a horrible horrible thing to have happen to an elderly local. Much love and prayers to his family.

  • To be totally honest I preferred the ‘dirt lot’ and I know others that agree.

  • Garberville has a town square? I thought it was Ray’s parking lot?

  • They need to turn it back into a parking lot, now it’s just a scum hangout, if you do have to run errands in town there’s no where to park

    • Err, I think every town needs a public square where people can hang out…..Not the town’s fault if bad things happen there occasionally….

      • have you ever been there? nobody ever ‘hangs out’ there besides transients. It’s certainly not a place I would take my kids to go ‘hang out’ at. I’m all in favor of parking lot conversion.

      • I love the town square

        It’s a problem for Social Services not the parks Board members.

  • Every day another murder, violent assault, Stabbing, missing person.

  • Love for the locals

    They guy the article calls a “transient” is actually a very well known local! Harmless too! Only in town to get his check.. To bad he didn’t make it back over the hill before this shit happened

  • Honeydew Bridge Chump

    Can’t they just spray something overhead to negate the mutation going on?

  • Oh it’s just getting started a month from now complete udder chaos .

  • Oh it’s just getting started a month from now complete udder chaos . Very scary times ahead .stay close to home ,and gard your own .be aware of your surroundings. And be as safe as you can .

  • Remember back when they wanted to turn the parking lot into a town square? And so many of us said it would just A) turn into a hangout for transients, and B) leave us with even less parking? Then people wanted to put up Port-a-Potties for the transients? What is next, tents and showers? I am 70 years old, and was nearly mugged there last year by young transients. What will it take to do something? A stabbing? This “town square” was a mistake. There, I’ve said it.

    • The fact is that dirt lot was being sold and there were some very community minded people who thought that a nice place for our growing farmers market would be preferable to more development. Either way it was not going to be a parking lot once it was sold. The problem with drugs and transients is not unique to our area. The square has most likely had no more problems than it would if it was still a dirt lot, this place is suffering from police resources being focused on marijuana instead of harmful drugs and a lack of mental health resources throughout the country.

      • They bought that lot to create a *venue*.

        As a town resident, not only do I EVER hang out there but pissed about the amplified events shoved down our throats without OUR input.

        My house vibrated for 7 fucking hours during the ‘birthday party’ for yah jah Ethiopia whatever and there’s NO WHERE TO ESCAPE TO!

        The dog shit and ciggie butts, the intimidating dogs off leash…if I had the money I’d move outta this cluster-fuck of dysfunction. What would it be like to live in a ‘community’ (the only ‘community’ I see around here is only happens if you’re *in the dope growing/festival promoting* club) where people actually cared about their surroundings and took some pride of place.

        Garbageville, indeed.

        • Amen spam…….. I have to say I agree with you totally. Little children should be running through the fountain. It was built by the community . purchased the community. There needs to be some ordinances made. and regular patrolling. Sorry to hear that you almost got accosted. It’s supposed to be a Town Square period and respected as such. Peace out. Much love to all

      • I love the town square

        Thank you!

    • In 2000 an undeveloped real estate lot in Garberville was for sale. Anyone could have bought it. (Syd Lehman told me that the Chamber of Commerce looked into purchasing the property and turning it into a legal parking lot but it was not financially doable.)
      The property was for sale for some time before a group of people purchased it with the goal of creating a beautiful and safe space for our community to use. Our community has used the space and it has been a beautiful addition to the town.
      Unfortunately our community is experiencing somewhat of a crisis of intense bad behavior which is leaving many residents, business owners and visitors feeling unsafe.
      While we work on solutions for these problems our community is facing the Town Square will be closed except for Farmers Market and Special Events.

      • Perhaps if all the folks that would like their town to be “how it used to be” showed up for the town square, exemplified by action how a tight community can stand together to create a safe, vibrant, uplifting space where all people can come and receive respite during their day… and do that free of fear. Increasing a presence of folks having lunch, meetings, work breaks, enjoying the out of doors in the park, connecting with each other in positive ways can provide a catalyst for a new direction in the energy and vibe of a place. However, it requires energy output by all interested to make it happen, how much do you want positive change?

  • Where are the Town Square coordinators who begged for money and told us this wouldn’t happen? They should be down there policing their blissful idea, it’s time for them to step up.

    • Brian Ely…
      Along with Steve Dazey’s little feifdom down the hill, the 1% in Garberville. LOL

    • “Where are the Town Square coordinators who begged for money and told us this wouldn’t happen? They should be down there policing their blissful idea, it’s time for them to step up.”

      I was wondering when someone would call them on their bullshit. I was beginning to think I was the only one who remembered that flamboyant bunch of flaming crap…

      • It’s not their fault that Southern Humboldt has become Transient Central. It was and still is a good idea but sadly we can’t have nice things or relative peace and quiet anymore. This is happening to a lot of towns. I see the trimigration is in full swing. Garberville looks like a diaspora is taking place. There’s no respect. 10 years ago I would have never guessed we would be experiencing this regression.

        • I’m sorry, but i disagree with you eastside. It was never a good idea, there isn’t any parking in garberville anyway and now there’s less not to mention anybody with a working brain would have been able to predict that a townsquare in garberville would become nothing but a transient hang out.

          • Oh, I too predicted the transient problem and I too would rather have a parking lot BUT, the town square idea is and was a good one. Another reason there’s no parking is because of the influx of greenrushers and their workers. I’m curious about an actual number of new people that have moved here in the past 3 years.

            • I too would be curious about the number of people that have moved here over the past few years, and without a doubt the parking situation in garberville has gotten worse in the past few years, but I’ve lived here my whole life and the parking situation in garberville has pretty much always sucked. especially on fridays. Why the [expletive] does EVERYONE decide to go to town on fridays??

              • Seems like every day is Friday now. Yep, parking has always sucked in gville. i go to town and I leave as soon as possible. Between the neo growers, the transients and now the trimigration town sure ain’t the same☹️

          • Your Just To Lazy to walk a block to p;ark

            • Nobody should have to park a block away from the store/ business they are going too, that’s stupid. It’s not about being lazy it’s about that shouldn’t have to be how it works.

        • Concerned Citizens

          Forgot to read the article huh? This crime was committed by locals.

  • Or maybe its a sign of the times. Disenfranchised youth + unregulated herb market + heroin + meth = the current town square.

    It would have been a good idea minus all the above problems. Maybe that $ should have been used towards resouces to help solve these epidemics?

  • The release misspells Mike Downer’s name. Oh darn I meant Downey…not really

  • I hear the square will be fenced off thursday for an indefinite period until solution can be found. If there is a solution. As a neighbor of the square I say it’s about time. Crowd has already moved to vet park by Dazey’s in Garberville. The meth and heroin dealing there has exploded this summer with dealers coming down from Eureka because of the large market for their product there. Seems like the local meth dealers who worked the square have been run off.

    • I personally hope you are right solo. And then after it’s fenced off for a bit, bring the dozers in and convert it to a parking lot, like it used to be.

    • The vet’s grove is right across the street from the 24/7 homeless resource center where they can access food, clothes, needles, condoms, books, phone, electricity, and provides a mailing address to sign up for food stamps and general assistance and so forth. I regularly see addicts on the stairs and porch of the bookstore smoking drugs off tinfoil and staring down people trying to use the laundromat. That store is another “elephant in the room” in this conversation.

  • If it wasn’t for your illegal income you would be no better than these scum, you’re just scum with money, which is soon going to end.

    • I have to disagree with you ‘fromthehills’ with no income I would still be better then them, and so would most other folks because were NOT on drugs and actually have the drive to work. Even if I didn’t have a job I sure wouldn’t sit on my ass at the town square all day, I’d find a job quickly.

      • What place you gonna rent around here pulling in $10/hr.???

        There’s a bigger picture here, however, *marijuana culture* exacerbates it enormously.

        What could this place be like without pot? Would the kids that grow up around here actually be pursuing something meaningful? Making bank from extracting resources is not sustainable, and certainly not with the population booming (what are all those bimbos sporting baybees thinking? That this bubble will grow forever?) the way it is.

        I moved here to “live simply so others can simply live” and *still* can’t wrap my mind around what this place has become over the last 35 years.

        Mono-ANYTHING is not healthy. The petri dish is getting crowded, folks; fasten your seatbelts for a hard landing.

  • Fenced off? That sounds so, uhm, ‘lovely.’ Not. That is not to say the square is lovely now either. But fences in general are not soothing to me. Seeing plenty of those in the outlaying neighborhoods these days. So we’ve become a gated community now?

    • The world exists to ‘soothe’ you? *Lovely*???? LOOK AROUND THIS SHITHOLE TOWN! You folks who live in the hills get to go back up the hill (what’s the environmental impact of all that?) after your weekly/biweekly jaunt into town for supplies/soccer games blah blah blah and then play suburbia around your sweet 40, while those of us who actually live here deal with the utter and heartbreaking despair and neglect engendered by apathy (thanks, pot industry) and dysfunction.

      It’s not just the ‘homeless’ people who need to learn about reciprocity and respect.

  • ‘Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you got till its gone, they built a town square and put up a big ugly fence.’ 🎶

  • Surveillance cameras

  • Where’s all the law that’s supposed to serve and protect??double the cops for double the crime.if this county can find money for”PARKLETS the can find money for more cops,or use the money they confiscated from busts etc.just sayin

  • Crest Mouth Watch

    The other day a transient guy with a dog was walking across the street with his dog in Garberville in the cross walk by the eel river cafe and all the sudden his dog took a crap in the cross walk and he throws up his hands says oh my god! you just took a crap, then another transient woman walking behind him picked up the crap and threw it in the garbage all happened just as a sheriff deputy drove right by and saw the whole thing but at least it got picked up and no one stepped in it . The town square needs a kissing booth were you can get your pictures taken.

    • My dog always shits in the cross walk and always shits in front of the patrol car, so I have to make traffic, the cop driving, lol, wait for me to pick it up . And I always pick it up.

      • Crest Mouth Watch

        But what do you think about the kissing both in the middle of the town square? One that couples could get there pictures taken. Maybe it would create some more peace and love in the Community while raising more badly needed money. The cop was not waiting just watching it’s part of there job but I don’t know if it is something they actually like. It dose not matter how poor you are in life as long as you pick your shit up and keep it clean .

    • That was the exception.

      There’s so much dog shit out there right now, walking is doubly hazardous watching out for careening Toyotas and diesel trucks and dog shit.

      The charming ciggie butts always attractive….fish love ’em.

  • Good old Garbageville been on the decline for a long time.

    • Past 5 years. Was on the uptick for 30 years till the transient lifestyle became popular , the hard drug scourge hit like a freight train, the greenrush happened with its population boom and we lost a meaningful law enforcement presence.

  • There’s no shortage of $. Measure Z’s unlawful COUNTYWIDE Tax for ‘Essential Necessities,’ extorts a mil from us each month. Orders from Central Control are to disarm us [label it War on Drugs], in trade for an armored vehicle [label it an armored personal transporter], and all other [military] trimmings. Meanwhile, the mil a month has brought us 10 [brain dead] Water ‘Resource’ Board corporate governmental service employees, 7 more deputy D.A’s + staff, funds to keep the airport on the map, increase the revolving petty cash fund at the Public Works Dept., more deputies + staff, New Job Classes of Environmental Permitting and COMPLIANCE Manager (bow down and bend over), compensation for Confidential Employees, increase the assigned salary for the Deputy Public Works Director-Environmental Services, a Senior Environmental Analyst, an Administrative Analyst I/II, a Senior Recordable Documents Examiner, a Program Coordinator, a new $295,000 Lenco Bearcat, SWAT teams from Redding, foresters from Ukiah (3-4 annual vi$it$), track n trace from Switzerland, the national guard, and lots more! Don’t cha feel ‘safe’ in SoHum?

  • ‘Make Garberville Great Again’

  • boomtown..riches town in humboldt and trinity county,

  • Put a razor wire fence around the town square!

  • Personally I feel no fear walking thru this pathetic town local kids like them are just losing it from all these worthless fuck moving into our town

  • Crest Mouth Watch

    If a giant mandala or mural is drawn on the town square you can keep it off limits except for the events if a group of community artists get together and start in all four corners and work towards the center then it would keep people off and it would be a work of art . You could have a metal detector at the entrance and no trash would be allowed in it or people, except in the occasion of a event or farmers market. A Translucent plywood fence around it might work with the metal detector .

  • This is an awful incident, and we abhor it!

    For future reference, nothing good ever happens after dark in Goobsterdam! It particularly does not happen at SHCHD. Even if the Goobies were not all high, all the time, it still might not improve.

    I have no use for Goobsterdam, hope you don’t either! Be careful out there!

  • Is the town square closed or not? No fence. A few people today (Thursday) but most were scattered elsewhere around town.

    • Talk about trailing off subject. Does anyone know who the guy is that got beat up. Because I am thinking that maybe the guy was possibly involved in some interaction with the underage little sister and if she was being assaulted or victomized in any way, then it would explain why Zach and the minor were both involved in this at 5:30am. Maybe, he got what was coming to him. I could be wrong, but It seems more likely than anything else.

      • No Penny. He is a local man with family in the area. He is not a transient, and the violence against him was absolutely wrong. He has never said a bad word or done anything to hurt someone else that we know of. He drinks too much.

        Richie is well-loved and as far as we know he would never harm a flea.

      • Thats the bs gossip. I heard that same bs but by time i heard it, they said zac was w the minor n the kids stabbed him. Total bs .

  • The television reporter filming there confirmed that to be the case to me this afternoon.

  • Damn glad I checked back 7:18 comment about the reporter was in response to Annoyed’s 5:16 wondering about the fencing of the square… NOT Penny’s 7:22 comment… jeez, sorry for any pain or confusion.

  • In response to who the victim is the word around town is that it is “drunk Richard”. He’s the guy you see passed out afternoons in front of the closed up bank. I see him regularly and have never seen him be aggressive to anyone. Half dozen others I’ve talked to today say the same. Small sample of people, maybe others have different experiences.

  • (Pick your own adjective) that it is a ‘homeless’ man’s death at the hands of a pair of locals that ignites action and heated discussion of the town’s problem with the houseless/camping/transients. From all the times I passed by or talked with Richie when he was on the sidewalk in front of the bank, I never got a bad vibe from him, he said gentle things… he didn’t seem to have a mean bone in his body like alcohol will usually bring out. Reminded me of Petey, or Hobbit, a town drunk a decade and a half or so ago, who used to hang in front of the Redway postoffice flag. The situation is similar to the homeless man who was beat up and killed on the Redway PO loading dock by locals whom he refused to buy beer for…. over a decade ago.
    Whatever solutions that can be found (and I am not smart enough to have any) need to have a clear discussion of the dangers of hate-all-homeless vigilantism.

  • Local boys killed that man!
    Everyone up in arms at the transients, saying they are dangerous, but again, it was local boys who killed a homeless drunkard!
    Who should be afraid of who?

  • Kym, do you have any update on the victim’s condition?

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