(AUDIO) LoCO’s First Ever Reader Submitted Post-Car Crash Audio Interview

Andrew Goff / Tuesday, March 17 @ 2:19 p.m. /

Since its inception, your Lost Coast Outpost has always been grateful for the photos, videos and tips it receives from its readers concerning breaking news throughout the county. Y’all are often closer to the action then we are able to be. We appreciate our weird little partnership.

Over thousands and thousands of posts, though, we’ve never had someone take the initiative to conduct an audio man-on-the-street interview at a car crash. That’s exactly what friend of the LoCO Emma Breacain did after there was a car crash outside her office at 6th and G streets in Eureka around 1:30 p.m. The incident was followed by a display of heightened emotions between the two parties involved. 

Hear Breacain — also well-known for her Kinetic royal status — interview Nicole Moritz just after her unfortunate vehicular moment.

(AUDIO) Emma On the Scene

According to Emma, officers are on the scene and are talking with the parties involved. Thanks for springing into action, scoop.

Emma on Moritz’ car: “She’s had it less than two years!”


Sheriff’s Office Arrests Man Wandering Through Eureka With Stolen Assault Rifle, Knife

Hank Sims / Tuesday, March 17 @ 1:44 p.m. /

From the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office:

On 03-17-2015 at about 9:00 a.m. the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a telephone call from a concerned citizen about a male subject named, Michael Podesta. The citizen stated Podesta was currently walking in the 5000 block of Vance Street, Eureka. The citizen stated they believed Podesdta may be concealing an assault rifle in a duffle bag he was carrying.

Deputies were immediately dispatched to the area and located Podesta walking on Vance Street carrying a duffle bag. Deputies received information through their communications center that Podesdta was on probation with a search and seizure clause. Deputies detained Podesta and searched the duffle bag. Deputies located a loaded SKS assault rifle, caliber 7.62 in the duffle bag. Deputies learned through their communications center that the rifle was reported stolen through the Eureka Police Department. Deputies also located a knife in the duffle bag that was reported stolen from the same victim.

Michael David Podesta age 40 was placed under arrest for possession of an assault rifle, possession of stolen property, being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and for violation of probation. Podesta was booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility and his bail was set at $50,000 dollars.

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.

(AUDIO) Sheriff’s Office Chases Stolen Truck Through Fernbridge, Fortuna, Hydesville, Carlotta; Eventually Gives Up the Chase

Hank Sims / Tuesday, March 17 @ 1:31 p.m. / Crime

UPDATE, 2:15 a.m.: The truck found in the orchard was, in fact, the truck that ran from the police, Lt. Hanson tells the Outpost. The CHP is on its way to recover the truck, and Hanson said that a fingerprint has been recovered.


UPDATE, 1:37 p.m.: Lt. Hanson tells the Outpostthat the vehicle may have been found abandoned in an apple orchard out 36. Deputies are on their way to investigate. The truck was registered in Oregon bu reported stolen out of Humboldt County, Hanson says. If you know someone whose gray Toyota — Oregon license plate 200EMU — was stolen, you might want to let them know to give the Sheriff’s Office a call.


Lost Coast Outpost readers are telling us about a dramatic high-speed chase through the Eel River Valley and out Highway 36 just about 45 minutes ago. One reader says that he nearly went head-on into the fleeing vehicle — a gray Toyota pickup — on Rohnerville Road, and saw another car nearly do the same.

Lt. Wayne Hanson of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office confirms that his office had chased the pickup, which had been reported stolen out of Oregon, until the office gave up pursuit out of safety concerns. He promised more information soon.

Scanner audio from the time indicates that a Sheriff’s deputy had attempted to stop the pickup for excessive speed near Fernbridge. The suspect ran, at which point it was determined that the vehicle was stolen. Eventually the CHP and the Fortuna Police Department were called in to assist in the chase, as it wound onto 101, down Riverwalk, up Rohnerville Road, through downtown Hydesville (at 80 mph!) and onto 36.

Pretty dramatic audio. Give it a listen. It starts at about 12:45 p.m.:



Mental Health Patient Escapes Sempervirens, Returns Voluntarily

Ryan Burns / Tuesday, March 17 @ 12:57 p.m. / Government , Health Care

Google Street View image.

A patient at Humboldt County’s in-patient mental health hospital, Sempervirens, escaped from the facility yesterday by squeezing through some chain link fencing in an outdoor exercise area. The patient returned to the facility voluntarily about three hours later, according to Heather Muller, public information manager for the Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services. 

“Sempervirens is a locked facility,” Muller said, “but it is not, and is not intended to be, a maximum security prison. It’s a treatment facility where we need to balance patient comfort with the security needs of patients, staff and the community as a whole.”

Muller said the hospital was fully staffed at the time of the escape, so the incident can’t be blamed on the current staffing shortage in the county’s Mental Health Branch.

The premises were reinspected to make sure the avenue of escape had been closed, Muller said.

EPD Raids Devil’s Playground Campground Again; Finds Guns, Meth, Chickens, Fully Stocked Bike Shop

Hank Sims / Tuesday, March 17 @ 10:55 a.m. / Crime

UPDATE, 4:45 p.m.: Eureka Police Provide Further Details on This Morning’s Homeless Encampment Raid and Removal

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The Eureka Police Department is back at the Devil’s Playground homeless camp this morning, there to serve a gun possession warrant and generally clean up the largest such camp in city limits.

This time, the EPD has taken into possession numerous weapons in the greenbelt, which stretches along the bayfront from the foot of Washington Street to behind the Bayshore Mall. One person has been arrested. Above and beyond that, though, the police seem to have uncovered a certain amount of infrastructure in the marsh.

The Outpost’s Andrew Goff, who is on the scene, reports that police are in the process of dismantling a ramshackle bicycle shop, which police believe to be stocked with a workbench and stolen bikes and bike parts. Also, there is — or was — a chicken coop on site. The chickens it once housed are resisting arrest by hiding in the bushes.

Once again there is a front-loader and several dumpsters on-scene, and workers are busy filling them up.

The EPD tweets started rolling in early this morning:


Loleta Man Arrested in Connection With Klamath Falls Murder

Hank Sims / Tuesday, March 17 @ 9:44 a.m. / Crime

The Klamath Falls Herald and News is reporting that a Loleta manAaron Michael Riley, 28 — was arrested Friday in connection with a murder in that town in January.

The press in Klamath Falls, Ore. has been heavily covering the murder of local resident Donald Clinton Black, who was found shot to death in his home on Jan. 20. Riley is the third suspect to be arrested in connection with the crime.

Riley was transported to Oregon after his arrest, which came after a grand jury returned an indictment against him, the Herald and News reports. He is being held on $1 million bail, and will appear in court this afternoon.

There is another local connection in the case: One of the other people arrested is named in most Klamath Falls news sources as “Barbara Ranae Bareilles.”

This is because she was briefly married to Eureka resident Paul Bareilles, but that marriage was annulled and she was ordered by the court to not use the Bareilles name any longer. The Bareilles family has been requesting that Klamath Falls media call the suspect by her original name, “Barbara Palmer” … but with mixed success, it seems.

13-Year-Old Eureka Girl Missing; Police Investigating

Andrew Goff / Tuesday, March 17 @ 9:14 a.m. / Missing

UPDATE, 9:23 a.m.: You know, it seemed a bit premature to put this out there, honestly. But we erred on the side of “If it were our kid.” According to the Facebook page set up to help find the missing girl, she showed up at school today. The end.

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Original Post: The Outpost has received numerous messages from the family and friends of a local teenage girl who didn’t come home from school yesterday. 

LoCO contacted the Eureka Police Department who confirm they are investigating the whereabouts of 13-year-old Autumn Olan-Smith. Autumn’s family reported her missing at about 5 p.m. There is a chance she could be with her boyfriend.

A Facebook page has been set up in an attempt to increase awareness and gather information about Autumn’s disappearance. You can find it here.

If you know anything about where Autumn’s location, please contact the Eureka Police Department at 441-4300.