Multiple Contributing Factors to Fatality on 299 Says CHP

Kym Kemp / Wednesday, Oct. 22 @ 12:44 p.m. / News

California Highway Patrol press release:

California Highway Patrol (CHP) Humboldt Area is in the process of investigating a fatal traffic collision that occurred the early morning of Thursday, October 16 on State Route 299, west of the Glendale undercrossing.  The deadly collision occurred when 23 year old Dylan Ruiz of McKinleyville drove his vehicle off State Route 299 and ultimately collided head-on into a concrete bridge rail. 

While the collision is still under investigation by the CHP, several details have been discovered that are believed to be contributing factors in the collision.

First, evidence indicates that Ruiz was handling his cell phone at the time of the collision.  While there is no indication Ruiz was actively texting or talking on his cell phone, it was apparent that his cell phone, which was located in the driver side door pocket with a nearly depleted battery, needed charging, and Ruiz was gripping the cell phone charger.

Second, there was fresh, partially eaten food on the driver’s floorboard indicating Ruiz was eating prior to the collision.

Third, the vehicle’s speedometer had locked at 90 miles per hour upon final impact.  Based on this finding, investigators believe the vehicle’s speed upon initial impact was in excess of 90 miles per hour.

The CHP’s intent in releasing this information is to make these contributing factors known to the public, with the hope of reducing future speed and distraction related collisions.  In light of these findings, the CHP reminds motorists that unsafe speed and distracted driving often result in traffic collisions.  As stated by, a driver is 3 times more likely to be involved in a traffic collision when reaching for a cell phone, dialing, or texting.

DUI as a factor in this collision remains under investigation pending a toxicology report from the Humboldt County Coroner’s Office.





Thirty-Four-Year-Old Transient’s Death Not Suspicious, Says Coroner

Kym Kemp / Wednesday, Oct. 22 @ noon / News

Humboldt County Coroner’s Office press release:

On Oct 17 2014, at approximately 10:20 hours, a deceased male was found on Samoa Blvd, route 255, south in the vicinity of K and V streets. We determined the death was not suspicious or criminal in nature. He was identified as Christopher Eddy Williamson, age 34. He appears to have been an Arcata transient for weeks. He hailed from Portland Or and Sedona, AZ regions.

An autopsy yesterday yielded no conclusive determination of cause of death. Cause and manner and death are currently pending histology [According to Humboldt County Deputy Coroner Trevor Enright, they take samples of the tissues, make a slide and examine the tissue under a microscope looking for things like heart attack or disease] and toxicology [looking for substances such as drugs and alcohol.]

Eureka Has a Daytime Home Burglary Problem

Andrew Goff / Wednesday, Oct. 22 @ 10:54 a.m. / Crime

UPDATE, 3:38 p.m.: Speaking Of … EPD Make Home Burglary Arrest

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This morning, LoCO noticed the above tweet sent out by Eureka Police chief Andy Mills. As discussed further in the EPD press release below, the city has had a rash of daytime home burglaries recently: 

Over the past several weeks, Eureka has experienced a rash of daytime residential burglaries occurring predominantly around the neighborhoods of Fairfield and Henderson Streets, south of Harris Street between D and H Streets, and between 14th and Wabash Streets.  

During a recent 30 day period, there were 21 residential burglaries.  Most occurred Wednesday- Friday during daytime hours when the residents were away. In most cases, the suspect(s) gained entry to the residence by forcing open a rear door or window or through an open attached garage.  Residences with alley access seem to be targeted for their accessibility and ease of escape.     

Residents are encouraged to report any suspicious persons, vehicles, or activity occurring in their neighborhoods that may be related.  Anyone with information regarding the possible identity of the suspect(s) responsible for these burglaries is asked to call the Eureka Police Department at 441-4044.

Police Services Officers are available to conduct a safety check of your home and provide suggestions on how to protect your home and property. Call PIO Brittany Powell at 441-4388 to schedule an appointment.  If you are interested in joining or starting a Neighborhood Watch program contact Problem Oriented Policing PSO Suzie Owsley at 441-4373.   

The following are some precautions that homeowners can take to reduce their risk:  

  • Keep all doors and windows closed and securely fastened when away.
  • Secure sliding glass doors by placing a broomstick, metal rod or piece of plywood in the track and install vertical bolts. These will help prevent burglars from forcing the door open or lifting it off the track.
  • Keep garage doors closed and locked.  Also keep doors that lead to interior of residence secured.  
  • Invest in an alarm system/surveillance cameras.
  • Create the illusion you are home by using timers on lights, radios, and televisions. Make your residence appear occupied even when no one is home.
  • Keep the perimeter of your residence well-lit and trim any shrubs so they do not provide concealment for would-be-burglars.  
  • Never leave a message on your answering machine telling people you are away from home.  Do not post on social media that you are out of town.  
  • Do not leave clues that you are away on a trip. Have a trusted neighbor collect mail and newspapers while you are away so delivered items do not accumulate.
  • Re-key the locks when you move into a new house or apartment.
  • Do not hide keys where burglars can find them.  Consider leaving your spare key with a trusted neighbor instead.
  • Report any suspicious activity/persons in your neighborhood to law enforcement immediately.
  • Join a neighborhood watch and/or use to communicate with your neighbors



McK Union 76 Station Held Up at Daggerpoint, Again

Hank Sims / Wednesday, Oct. 22 @ 10:30 a.m. / Crime

PREVIOUSLYMcKinleyville 76 Station Robbed This Morning (No, The Other One)


From the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office: 

On 10-22-2014, at approximately 1:15 a.m. the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a call regarding an armed robbery which had just occurred at the 76 Gas and Go Mini Mart , located 2698 Central Avenue, McKinleyville. The clerk told the dispatcher the two suspects left on foot, south on Central Avenue towards Reasor Road.

Deputies searched the area, but were unable to locate the suspects. The clerk told the investigating deputy he believed the two suspects were the same suspects that had previously robbed the store on 10-8-2014. He was working the store last time it was robbed and told the deputy the suspects appeared more aggressive this time. The smaller male suspect entered the store first followed by the larger suspect. The smaller suspect demanded the clerk back away from the cash register as the larger suspect brandished an eight inch knife. They stole money from the register and fled the store on foot.

The suspects are described as follows:

Suspect #1- White male adult, wearing something over his face concealing his face, dark colored sweatshirt, tan colored shorts, black shoes, and had a red bandana in his back pocket. Approximately 5’10” to 6’ tall

Suspect #2- White male adult, armed with an 8 “ knife, has two black eyes, wearing a light colored navy blue sweatshirt, black shoes, approximately 6” 2” tall.

Anyone with information for the Sheriffs Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriffs Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriffs Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.

No, the Humboldt County Jail is Not on Fire

Andrew Goff / Wednesday, Oct. 22 @ 10:13 a.m. / Non-Emergencies

Friday Note: We posted this on Wednesday, but inevitably people were wondering today what all the hubbub around the courthouse was about. It is this.

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A few minutes ago, LoCO received word from readers that smoke was emanating from the top floor of the Humboldt County Jail and that emergency personnel were amassing on Fourth Street below. Ack! We hustled from our new Eureka office to the scene. 

Yes, there was smoke, but it was fake.

It seems today until noon, and then again on Friday morning, Humboldt Bay Fire and the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office are conducting trainings allowing emergency crews to prepare for the unique challenges of fighting a future fire in The Big Pink. LoCO spoke briefly with Lieutenant Marco Luna who noted that it helps to know the layout of such a massive structure when attempting to work quickly to navigate the numerous locked barriers that could be between firefighters and potentially trapped inmates.

All the same, thanks again for your sharp eyes, LoCO readers. All is well.

Sheriff’s Deputies Roll on McK Domestic Violence Call, Discover Hash Lab, Tear Gas and Hungry Puppy

Andrew Goff / Wednesday, Oct. 22 @ 9:45 a.m. / Crime

Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office press release: 

On 10-21-2014, at approximately 11:30 p.m. the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a call regarding a domestic disturbance occurring in the 3600 block of Murray Road, McKinleyville. When deputies arrived at the residence, they met with the adult female victim who told the deputies her boyfriend, John Walter Wilson, 56 years old, had just exited the rear of the residence. Deputies located and detained Wilson who is on active parole.

Deputies spoke with the victim who told them she and Wilson live together and were in a relationship and had been arguing. During the argument, Wilson accused the victim of stealing his marijuana and keeping the profits. Wilson grabbed a pellet rifle and threatened to strike the victim with it. He also threatened to kill her.

Deputies arrested Wilson for domestic assault. The deputies searched the residence and located the pellet rifle along with a can of bear mace and a can of CS tear gas. When deputies searched the garage they located a Hash Lab which consisted of numerous bottles of butane, sifters, PVC pipes, and loose marijuana, approximately 61 pounds of marijuana and 15 ounces of suspected concentrated cannabis. Deputies also located a nine week old chocolate lab puppy in the garage with the hash lab and marijuana. Deputies saw the puppy did not have food or water. Deputies had been at the residence approximately a week prior on an unrelated call, and saw the puppy had lost significant weight during that time period. Deputies took custody of the puppy which was transported to the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Animal Shelter.

Wilson was arrested for domestic battery, threats to commit a crime, being a felon in possession of tear gas, manufacturing a controlled substance, possession of concentrated cannabis and possession of over one ounce of marijuana. He was transported and booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility. His bail was set at $500,000.00.

The victim did not require medical attention.

Anyone with information for the Sheriffs Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriffs Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriffs Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.



[UPDATED] Sheriff’s Office Reports Homicide in Redway This Morning

Andrew Goff / Wednesday, Oct. 22 @ 6:47 a.m. / Crime

UPDATE, 3:56 p.m.: Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office press release: 

The Humboldt County Coroner’s Office has confirmed the identity of the homicide victim and notified the next of kin. The victim has been identified as Daneyal Mohammad Siddique, 40 years old, who is from Redway, California.

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UPDATE, 11:34 a.m.: Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office press release:

On 10-22-2014, at approximately 12:15 a.m. , the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call from a citizen who reported hearing a gun shot and discovered a man had been shot at the Dean Creek Resort, Redway. Citizens at the scene attempted lifesaving efforts on the victim, while medical and law enforcement responded. When deputies arrived, the suspect, identified as Jason Armstrong, 40 years old, from Dumas, Texas met with deputies. as they arrived. Medical personnel tended to the victim, who was pronounced deceased at the scene.

Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Detectives and the Humboldt County Coroner’s Office were summoned to the scene. Detectives learned the 41 year old male victim and the suspect had been in a brief verbal argument earlier in the evening. The victim was residing in a room at Dean Creek Resort and Armstrong was staying in a nearby cabin at the resort. They did not know each other prior to the argument. After the brief argument, the victim and Armstrong parted ways. Armstrong went to victim’s room to settle the argument, believing it was not over. Armstrong was carrying a semi- automatic handgun. Armstrong confronted the victim on the back patio of the room and brandished the handgun at the victim. While brandishing the handgun, the victim attempted to disarm Armstrong. During the brief struggle over the weapon, Armstrong strong shot the victim once in the chest.

After shooting the victim, Armstrong walked away and unloaded the weapon near his cabin. When deputies arrived, he walked up to the deputies and surrendered without incident. Armstrong was arrested and transported to Eureka where he was interviewed by detectives. He was then booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility on one count of murder. His bail was set at $1,000,000.00.

Anyone with information for the Sheriffs Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriffs Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriffs Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539. 

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UPDATE, 9:26 a.m.: Lt. Steve Knight of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office tells the Outpost that detectives have detained and are interviewing one suspect, and that his office does not believe the community is in danger.

“We believe the person responsible is in custody at this time,” Knight said.

The Sheriffs Office will release further information later today.

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Original Post: Your Lost Coast Outpost awoke to the following tweet sent out by Lieutenant Steve Knight with the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office: 

Scanner traffic from around that time alludes to a male being shot in the chest across from the Dean’s Creek Resort office near room six. Other parties on the scene attempted to apply pressure to the wound, but by 12:22 a.m. the victim had apparently stopped breathing. He was pronounced dead by medical personnel at 12:39 a.m.

LoCO is attempting to gathering more info and will update this post when we know more.