[UPDATE: Suspect Sustains Fatal Injuries] CHP Officer Injured by Suspect Near Willow Creek, Shots Fired

Kym Kemp / Thursday, Dec. 18 @ 8:02 a.m. / Crime

UPDATE, 9:25 a.m.: A few minutes ago, Officer Matt Harvey, the local CHP public information officer, told the Outpost that his office cannot currently release any information about the type of weapon used in the attack on the officer, nor the types of injuries the officer sustained.

Harvey did say that the river rescue that took place nearly simultaneously about a mile and a half east of this confrontation is not believed to have any relation to it.

More on that river rescue shortly.

— Hank Sims

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UPDATE, 8:17 a.m.: California Highway Patrol press release:

On Thursday, December 18, 2014, at approximately 1:35 am, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) Humboldt Communications Center received a report of a single vehicle traffic collision on State Route 299 at Blue Jay Lane in the Willow Creek area.  A CHP Humboldt Area officer assigned to the Willow Creek Resident Post was called out to handle the traffic collision.  Upon the officer’s arrival, the officer was violently attacked by the driver of the vehicle by use of a deadly weapon.  The officer, in fear of his life, discharged his departmentally issued firearm at the suspect.  The suspect subsequently sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased at the scene.  The officer sustained major injuries and was transported by ground ambulance to a nearby hospital for treatment. 

The officer is listed as in stable condition.  There are no other known suspects outstanding and the CHP believes this to be an isolated incident.  The county-wide shooting investigation team has been assigned to investigate this incident.  In addition, the CHP’s Northern Division shooting investigation team has been assigned to investigate this incident as an internal administrative investigation. 

This is a very tragic event that will have a lasting impact on our community, the CHP Humboldt Area, and the officer and families involved. 

Any inquiries into this incident can be directed the California Highway Patrol Humboldt Area office at (707) 822-5981.

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Original post: According to scanner traffic about early this morning, a California Highway Patrol (CHP) officer  has been injured by a suspect. At approximately 2:10 a.m., a CHP officer called in stating that he had a Code Three (emergency situation.) He stated that there had been shots fired and an officer was hit and injured. (It is not clear but it appears that the injury was not from a gunshot.) 

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Medical raced to the scene but had to wait until a law enforcement officer could clear the area and determine that medical would be safe.

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The injured officer tries to give as much information as possible but states that he has trouble seeing. “Stay with me, buddy,” Dispatch urges.

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Medical arrives close to scene as the officer’s vision returns but must stage and can’t approach.

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Later, Dispatch states that the officer had locked himself in his vehicle, he has been hit with something possibly a “collapsible asp,” and has a broken arm. Dispatch indicates that the whereabouts of the suspect is unknown. 

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At approximately 2:30 a.m., a suspect was detained. Dispatch indicates at one point that “with the help of good Samaritans” the suspect was captured.

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The suspect is described as a male associated with a Prius and wearing a poncho and shorts.

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Medical arrived and began tending the injured officer.

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The injured officer was transported to a nearby hospital. The officer is in stable condition. According to CHP spokesperson, Matt Harvey, “We believe this to be an isolated incident. There is no other outstanding suspects and no threat to safety.”


BOOKED

Yesterday: 13 felonies, 19 misdemeanors, 0 infractions

JUDGED

Humboldt County Superior Court Calendar: Yesterday

CHP REPORTS

Oceanview Dr / Gilbert Creek Rd (Crescent City office): Traffic Hazard

Us101 S / Us101 S Trinidad Onr (Humboldt office): Trfc Collision-No Inj

Us199 / Monument Dr (Crescent City office): Traffic Hazard

2174 Mm101 (Crescent City office): Traffic Hazard

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[UPDATE: Open] Hwy 101 Closed Near Benbow

Kym Kemp / Thursday, Dec. 18 @ 6:42 a.m. / News

UPDATE, 9:35 a.m.: Road’s open!

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UPDATE 7:26 a.m.: According to the California Highway Patrol, “US 101, from Lake Benbow Drive to Cooks Valley, will be closed in both directions until mid-afternoon today, December 12th 18th, due to a large rock slide in the area.  Motorists are advised to use alternative routes.”

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Original post:Hwy 101 is closed near Benbow. A spokesperson for the California Highway Patrol said that the road in closed southbound at Benbow and northbound at Cooks Valley.

According to the CHP online report, a large rock slide began last evening and several vehicles were damaged but the road was able to be cleared at that time. However, around 1 this morning, a report was called in that again there were rocks in the roadway and more vehicles were damaged. The road was closed and briefly opened to one way traffic but it is now closed again.

We will be monitoring. Please avoid the area if possible.



Humboldt County Drug Task Force and DEA Detains Six in Loleta

Kym Kemp / Wednesday, Dec. 17 @ 9:28 p.m. / Crime

The Humboldt County Drug Task Force in conjunction with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) detained six individuals in Loleta today after serving a search warrant. A neighbor, Sandra Dupret, said that at least 8 vehicles, most of them unmarked, and approximately 16 law enforcement personnel, surrounded the house next to her about 11 a.m. this morning. 

“A van pulls up to our house and right behind it a car pulls up,” Dupret said. “Then more cars and all these guys with guns…They were all in black and their weapons were all black.”

Dupret said that several of the officers had DEA on their vests but most weren’t in any uniform. “They tore that house apart,” she said. “They were searching the cars. Under the hoods…My neighbor said that they took a bunch of stuff out of the house.”

Lt. George Cavinta of the Humboldt County Drug Task Force said that six were detained in the 300 block of Loleta Drive. Several individuals were arrested for possession of meth and marijuana as well as for sales.



Fourteen-Year-Old Victim of Today’s Homicide

Kym Kemp / Wednesday, Dec. 17 @ 5:07 p.m. / Crime

According to Deputy Coroner Trevor Enright of the Humboldt County Coroner’s Office, the victim of today’s homicide on 15th Street in Eureka is a fourteen-year-old boy from Arcata.

The Coroner’s Office is not yet releasing the name of the juvenile. An forensic autopsy has been scheduled for Saturday.

Our hearts go out to the family and friends of the boy.

Previously: HOMICIDE: Man Found Stabbed Off McFarlan Street; EPD Investigating



[UPDATED 8:20 P.M.] Possible Pipe Bomb Found on Highway 299

Kym Kemp / Wednesday, Dec. 17 @ 4:14 p.m. / Crime

UPDATE 8:20 p.m.: California Highway Patrol press release:

On 12/17/14 at approximately 2:14 PM, California Department of Transportation maintenance crews were working in the area of SR-299 near milepost 35 in Humboldt county.  Crew members found what appeared to be a black tube with caps on each end, wrapped in black tape.  The crew notified the California Highway Patrol, and an officer and sergeant responded to the scene. Based on the location of the item, and its distance from the highway, it was determined that the highway could remain open while the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Bomb Squad responded to inspect the item.

Once on scene, the Sheriff’s Department deployed their unmanned remote rover and rendered the item safe.  There was no collateral damage to surrounding equipment or infrastructure, and the highway remained open. It is still unknown what the item’s intended purpose was, and anyone with information regarding the item is requested to call the California Highway Patrol at (707) 822-5981.

UPDATE 5:00 p.m.: Caltrans spokesperson, Eli Rohl, explained, “The alleged device was found in a turnout on a two-lane stretch of 299…The CHP officer I spoke with said there’s a blade truck shielding the road from any potential blast.”

Rohl said that a maintenance worker for Caltrans discovered the device this afternoon. CHP officers were called in.

CHP spokesperson Sgt Phil Stacy said, “We’ve got a couple units out there including an on scene supervisor.” The Humboldt County bomb squad has also been called in.

“We’re not closing the road. It doesn’t appear that it any immediate threat to anyone,” Stacy stated.

Rohl asked that any motorists drive with caution through the area for the safety of the responders. “Motorists won’t see anything too exciting if they drive by,” he said.

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Original post:

Caltrans Facebook status:

ROAD ALERT: What looks to be a pipe bomb has been found [near post mile 35] on Highway 299 in Humboldt County about 5 miles west of Willow Creek. The California Highway Patrol and Caltrans is at the scene. There is no road closure or traffic control at this time but we are asking all motorists to slow down and use extra caution around the scene.



Bullock Appears in Court, Kathleen Bryson Retained by Family of Father Freed

Ryan Burns / Wednesday, Dec. 17 @ 3:11 p.m. / Crime

Gary Lee Bullock appeared in court today for a preliminary hearing in the lead-up to his trial for the Jan. 1 murder of St. Bernard’s priest Father Eric Freed. Deputy District Attorney Stacy Eads has taken over the prosecution from recently departed Deputy DA Elan Firpo.

Local defense attorney Kathleen Bryson appeared and presented a letter to Judge John Feeney, explaining that she has been retained by the victim’s family.

Bullock himself was brought in handcuffed, wearing the customary orange jumpsuit and orange sandals with socks. Sitting casually near other inmates in the courtroom’s jury box, Bullock looked heavier, rounder of face and somewhat healthier than he did back in January. (That’s a file photo from January above.) He quietly conferred with his attorney, Kaleb Cockrum from Humboldt County’s conflict counsel office.

Bullock’s trial for the torture and murder of Father Freed is scheduled to begin on Jan. 26.



Hoopa Valley Tribal Police Vehicles Crash Into Each Other During Pursuit; Officers Injured, Taken to Hospital

Andrew Goff / Wednesday, Dec. 17 @ 2:38 p.m. / Traffic

Hoopa Valley Tribal Police press release: 

On December 15, 2014 at about 1924 hours (7:24 pm), two Hoopa Valley Tribal Police (HVTPD) vehicles were responding to a report of shots fired from a vehicle at their station/dispatch center.

Both units were driving northbound on SR 96 near Hostler Field Housing in Hoopa, one behind the other, in an attempt to overtake a possible suspect vehicle.

The lead unit slowed in order to make a U-turn to travel southbound on SR-96. The trailing unit was unable to slow / stop in time. The front of the trailing vehicle struck the left side of the lead vehicle, causing minor injuries to both officers.

Both officers were transported via ambulance to Mad River Community Hospital in Arcata to receive treatment for their injuries and were later released. Units from the California Highway Patrol (CHP) responded to the scene to conduct a traffic accident investigation.