Press release from the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office:
Today, 59-year-old Charles Cole of Arcata pled guilty to vandalizing the Arcata Co-op on November 6, 2015.
The terms of his sentence include: 3 years of probation; he must not go near the Arcata Co-op nor the clerk at the Co-op whom he engaged with prior to committing the vandalism; and he must comply with all conditions of the mental health counseling he is receiving. He also must not possess any animals and cannot seek return of the dog he once owned.
The last sentencing terms above relate to an animal abuse charge that originated from Mr. Cole’s actions on January 14, 2016 in Arcata; this charge was dismissed today. In a trial on the animal abuse charge in July 2016, the jury split 7 to 5.
Subsequently, several citizens contacted the District Attorney’s Office to provide additional information about the incident and the People set the case for a new trial.
Before the date of the new trial, Mr. Cole’s defense attorney declared a doubt as to Mr. Cole’s mental competency and in July 2017 he was transported to Napa State Hospital for treatment, where he remained until June 2018. (Today Mr. Cole waived custody credits for his hospitalization in Napa, so if he violates probation he can be required to serve up to 180 days in jail.)
The District Attorney’s Office appreciates the citizens who came forward to provide information on Mr. Cole’s actions. Before taking the plea today the D.A.’s Office contacted many of those people, who all agreed that in conjunction with his course of mental health treatment, this plea addresses Mr. Cole’s behavior.