Aha! Sheriff’s Office Weighs In on Yesterday’s Tasing

Hank Sims / Yesterday @ 3:51 p.m. / Crime

PREVIOUSLY: A Guy Was Tased By Law Enforcement in Front of a McK Store Yesterday, But It’s Not Really Clear Why

[Ed. note — A very nice deputy, whom we just spoke to, apparently wrote down the wrong number for the LoCOPhone yesterday.]


From the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office:

On the above date at 9:55 AM, Humboldt County Sheriff’s deputies were called to a business at the 2100 block of Central Avenue, in McKinleyville, regarding a disturbance and trespassing.

When deputies arrived they contacted a male matching the description of the subject causing the disturbance, who was identified as Jason Edward Balke, a 34 year old resident of McKinleyville. Deputies approached Balke to take him into custody for being under the influence of narcotics. Balke physically resisted and started struggling with the arresting deputies. During the struggle he attempted to strike one of the deputies with a closed fist and was unsuccessful. Balke pulled on the hair of one of the arresting deputies and ripped the deputy’s shirt.

As Balke continued to fight, one of the deputies deployed their Taser (electronic control device) at Balke. After it was deployed, the other deputies were able to place Balke in handcuffs.

Balke was then transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where he was booked for assault on a peace officer, resisting arrest, public intoxication, trespassing, and violation of terms of probation. Balke is currently in custody with a bail amount set at $50,000.


CHP: Person Shot and Killed Yesterday Confirmed to be 17-Year-Old Hoopa Boy; Officer Suffered Major Injuries in Machete Attack

Hank Sims / Yesterday @ 3:13 p.m. / Crime

Captain Adam Jager.

At a press conference in the Humboldt County Courthouse a few minutes ago, Captain Adam Jager of the California Highway Patrol confirmed that the assailant in yesterday’s early morning attack on a CHP officer was a 17-year-old boy from the Hoopa area.

According to Jager, the boy suddenly attacked the officer with a machete, inflicting serious wounds that required the officer to be airlifted to UC Davis for treatment. The officer shot his assailant during the confrontation, wounding and eventually killing him.

Jager and Sheriff Mike Downey both spoke at the press conference, both of them relating what law enforcement knows and can share about the incident and the subsequent, ongoing investigation.

The incident started when the officer – whose name Jager has not yet released – showed up to investigate a single-car collision with a telephone pole east of Willow Creek. At first, he said, the officer and the driver of the car – the boy – had a regular conversation. A bit later, however, the boy surprised him by swinging the machete at his head. The officer blocked the strike with his arm, which resulted in serious injuries to his arm, hand and head.

The officer was able to fire his weapon at his attacker, Jager said, and retreated to his patrol car, where he locked the doors and attempted to get assistance. It is believed that the boy also went back into his vehicle, as the officer heard the horn honking for a while.

About 10 minutes later another officer arrived. When he did, he found the boy lying naked on the ground beside his vehicle, behaving erratically. The officer issued commands to the boy, which the boy did not comply with. At some point, the second officer used a taser on the suspect. According to Jager, this had no effect. Eventually a couple of “good Samaritans” came by and helped subdue and handcuff the boy.

Medical personnel arrived shortly after this, and at some point after that – Jager was not clear on the precise timeline – the boy was pronounced dead.

Full audio of the press conference is below.



A machete of the same brand and model as the one wielded by the assailant.

A Guy Was Tased By Law Enforcement in Front of a McK Store Yesterday, But It’s Not Really Clear Why

Hank Sims / Yesterday @ 1:33 p.m. / Crime

Yesterday, a reader wrote:

Do u have any info on what happened at ace in mack today one chp and two sheriff’s showed up and tazed a guy … Guy was elbowing cops in the face and pulling them to the ground it was outside right in front of the store and yes I seen it I have pictures but i was across the street … Cops were being rough.

The short answer to this query, which showed up in our email box at 11 a.m., is: Yes, we now have a little bit of info on what happened. The slightly longer answer is: We have only a little bit of info, because numerous calls to several different people in the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office seeking more information on the subject, made both today and yesterday, have all gone unreturned.

Here’s what we know.

This morning’s Sheriff’s Office call logs show that at about 9:54 a.m., Deputy Tory Siipola was dispatched to the McKinleyville Ace Hardware store to respond to a public disturbance. See snapshot below.

Just a few minutes later — at 10 a.m., almost exactly — an ambulance was called to the scene in order to treat a subject who had been tasered. Here’s the audio of that:


The call logs show that an arrest was made, and give a case number — 2014-05815. This allows us to reference the incident in the jail’s Disposition of Arrests sheet.


Here we find that the tased person is one Jason Edward Balke, a man well known to law enforcement. Our records from the BOOKED database show that he has been arrested 17 times since late 2011, when our records begin, on a wide spectrum of charges — spousal abuse, public intoxication, possession of methamphetamines, petty theft and criminal threats. In 2012, he was one of three people arrested during a crackdown on thievery from the dump.

From today’s edition of BOOKED, we see that Balke was marked down as “booked” at 9:57 a.m. — presumably, either immediately before, during or after the taser delivered its voltage into his torso. The charge listed was Penal Code Section 69, “Resisting an Executive Officer. According to these dudes, the charge is like a more-serious version of “resisting arrest.” It’s marked down on the booking sheet as a felony.

Nevertheless, Balke was “released” and the case closed two hours later for reasons not stated in either the Disposition of Arrests sheet nor the Release Inmate Report. Both simply read “Case Closed: Other” — meaning, “other than for the usual reasons.”

Why was he released? Why was he tased? We don’t know. Like I said — no one is calling us back.

And that’s pretty much all we have for you, except that our original tipster sent us her pictures, apologizing for how bad they were. Here’s the best one, followed a pixelated blowup of the relevant scene. Enjoy.

First Ever Re-entry Fair Offered to Inmates at Humboldt County Jail

Kym Kemp / Yesterday @ 12:10 p.m. / News

An inmate gets information on housing at the Re-entry Fair held yesterday at the Humboldt County Correctional Facility. [Photos provided by the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office]

Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office press release:

On December 18, 2014, general population inmates housed in the Humboldt Correctional Facility were given an opportunity to meet with several community based organizations from within the county. The concept of a Re-Entry Fair is the same as a Job-Fair. Inmates met with local organizations to gather information to improve their lifestyles, and to prepare themselves for re-entry to our communities. Some of the various topics ranged from transitional housing, veteran services, drug and alcohol treatment, parenting courses, and college classes. 

The program representatives went right into all the facility’s large housing units where inmates were able to meet one on one with them. Inmates gathered informational packets, and business cards for future references. These types of “Fairs” are not uncommon, but a first for our facility. The Sheriff’s Office goal is to help lower recidivism within our community, and better prepare individuals prior to their release.

Education opportunities were discussed with inmates.

The Sheriff’s Office would like to thank all the organizations who attended and look forward to working with them in the future.

Veterans Outpatient Clinic College of the Redwoods

Arcata House 1st Street County Alcohol Drug Care Services

Eureka Rescue Mission Healthy Moms

North Coast Veterans Resource Center Healthy Dads

Humboldt Recovery

Recovery information was offered to those who are concerned about addiction issues.

Would-Be Car Burglar Foiled By Alert Lundbar Hills Resident

Hank Sims / Yesterday @ 10:25 a.m. / Crime

From the Eureka Police Department:

On December 19, 2014, at approximately 4:45 a.m., Officers from the Eureka Police Department were dispatched to the 4900 block of Lundblade Drive on a report of a suspicious subject seen in the area. A resident, on their way to work, observed a male subject with a backpack walking in the neighborhood. The resident notified our dispatch center and stayed on scene to assist officers in locating the subject. Officers located the subject and detain him. The subject was identified as Jerrad Rishard Lafayette (26 years old Eureka resident). Lafayette was found to be on searchable probation for narcotic and theft related offenses.

Officers conducted a search of Lafayette’s person and the backpack he was carrying. The Officers located three (3) screwdrivers in his pant’s pockets and located a pair of bolt cutters, a glass punch, wire cutters, a file kit with files, crowbars and other various tools in the backpack.

Lafayette admitted to the Officers that he went to this neighborhood to break into vehicles. At this time Officers are unable to determine if Lafayette actually broke into any vehicles in this neighborhood. It appears his intended criminal behavior was thwarted by the observant resident.

Lafayette was arrested for possession of burglary tools, public intoxication, and probation violation. Lafayette was transported and booked at the Humboldt County Correctional Facility.

The Eureka Police Department asks that any citizen who resides in this area, and discovers their vehicle has been broken into contact us and make a crime report. EPD would also like to commend the resident for being observant and recognizing a suspicious activity/person, contacting us with all the pertinent information, and then assisting our Officers with locating the suspicious person. Your actions likely kept your neighbors and others in your community from being victimized. Job well done and Thank You!

Be On the Lookout: White Honda Prelude Stolen in Eureka

Kym Kemp / Yesterday @ 7:31 a.m. / Crime

Here’s the latest post in LoCO‘s “Be On the Lookout” series, where we highlight stolen items and ask you to help by reporting any sighting to the appropriate law enforcement agency.

Have you seen this white, two door, ‘93 Honda Prelude? It was taken from C Street in Eureka on December 14 late at night. The license plate number is 3FCM279.

Anyone with any information should contact the Eureka Police Department at 707-441-4044.

Previous BOLO:

Do You Know This Man? Photos of Car Theft Suspect

Kym Kemp / Yesterday @ 7:03 a.m. /

Flyer showing the pertinent details on the car theft suspect.

California Highway Patrol press release:

On 12/09/2014, at approximately 1425 hours, a red 2005 Mazda Tribute with Idaho license plates (# 8BEX984) was stolen from the Redway Shell Gas station, in Redway, CA. A white male adult (pictured below) with a full beard, standing approximately 5’ 11”, 200 lbs., wearing khaki pants, a gray shirt, and brown shoes, was captured on video surveillance taking the vehicle’s keys from atop an ice-cream cooler inside the Shell Gas Station store. The subject subsequently drove away from the scene in the Mazda. This incident remains under investigation by the California Highway Patrol Garberville Area Office. Any information regarding the vehicle or suspect should be forwarded the Garberville CHP Office (707) 923-2155.


The car which is now missing the front chrome piece.  Its Idaho license plate number is 8b ex984. 


Previously: Be On the Lookout: 2005 Mazda Tribute Taken After Keys Nabbed From Counter of Redway Shell