Categorized | Crime, Fortuna

Suspect Slain By Fortuna Police

 

Deceased Man Identified as Jacob Newmaker

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

An early-morning phone call about a disturbance of the peace led to an altercation with police and the ultimate demise of a young Fortuna man today.

 

Jacob Robert Newmaker, 26, was pronounced dead at Redwood Memorial Hospital after he was transported there to be treated for a gunshot wound at the hands of an unnamed Fortuna Police Department officer.

It all started at about 6:10 a.m. when the FPD responded to the 1100 block of Angel Heights Drive on a call involving a male suspect who was allegedly under the influence  and banging on the reporting persons’ door and windows.

Upon responding, the cops were told that the subject had left the area on bicycle, and law enforcement caught up to the man in the area of Vista Drive and 11th Street.

At first attempting to flee, the man supposedly became physically combative with the responding officer, who unsuccessfully tried to subdue him with a taser, according to a press statement by chief Bill Dobberstein.

The FPD side of the story concludes with the arrival of a second unit, who allegedly witnessed the subject continue to be physically combative.

Verbal commands, control holds, pepper spray and baton strikes were all used, but were apparently ineffective, and in a violent struggle the subject grabbed one of the cops’ batons.

When the subject was about to strike the officer with his own nightstick, the other cop fired his gun at the man, later identified as Newmaker.

Life saving measures were attempted and the subject succumbed to his injuries a short while later at the hospital.

Humboldt County’s Critical Incident Response Team was activated and an investigation is underway with assistance from FPD, the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office, Humboldt County Sherriff’s Office, Eureka Police Department and Arcata Police Department.  Further assistance was provided by the Rio Dell Police Department, Cal Fire and Fortuna Volunteer Fire Department.

UPDATE April 17:  

The Fortuna Police Department on Monday released the names of the two officers involved in a fatal shooting last month and said both have returned to work after administrative staff deemed their actions were appropriate under the circumstances.

According to a Fortuna Police Department press release, Officer Maxwell Soeth and Sgt. Charles Ellebrecht attempted to subdue Jacob Robert Newmaker on March 16 with verbal commands, pepper spray, baton strikes, control holds and a Taser, all of which were unsuccessful.  

Ultimately, an officer fatally shot Newmaker after he took one of the officers’ batons and began striking him with it, according to the department.

In a previous interview, Dobberstein said officers were dispatched to the Angel Heights Drive neighborhood at 6:16 a.m. on March 16 after a woman reported a “crazed person banging on the door and yelling and screaming in her front yard.”

Responding officers were told the suspect had left the area on a bicycle and were given a description of Newmaker, who Dobberstein said had numerous prior contacts with his department for drug and theft offenses.

Dobberstein said an officer coming down from Angel Heights Drive spotted Newmaker on his bicycle at the foot of Vista Drive — about three-quarters of a mile from the residence where the 911 call originated.

Dobberstein said Newmaker crashed his bicycle on 10th Street just below O Street, and the officer confronted him on the sidewalk.  An altercation ensued, the chief said, and the officer then “drive-stunned” Newmaker with his Taser, meaning he attempted to put it in direct contact with the suspect to shock him.

Dobberstein said the officer was able to catch up with Newmaker in the middle of O Street — between 10th and 11th streets — and again used his Taser, this time fully deploying it, shooting the darts at Newmaker.  

The chief said it’s unclear if the Taser was fully effective, but said Newmaker fell to the ground after being hit.

”It was when he was on the ground when the other officer arrived,” Dobberstein said in the previous interview.

Dobberstein said the officers then tried to get Newmaker into handcuffs, using pepper spray and baton strikes to the legs to try to gain compliance.

Efforts to subdue Newmaker were unsuccessful.

The second officer on scene — who Dobberstein said somehow “took a face-full of pepper spray at some point during the incident” — was able to get one of Newmaker’s hands into cuffs, but the suspect’s other hand remained free and he was able to get into a “fighting position on the ground.”

At this point, Dobberstein said, the initial officer on scene attempted to use his baton to gain control of Newmaker’s uncuffed hand, but the suspect was able to grab the weapon.

”Then, there was a tug-of-war for the baton, and he was able to wrestle it free,”
Dobberstein said.  “It was at that point he was able to get the baton and was able to get back up to his feet.”

Newmaker then raised the baton to strike the second officer on scene, Dobberstein said, at which point the other officer shot twice, hitting Newmaker both times.

Newmaker was pronounced dead at Redwood Memorial Hospital later that morning.

9 Responses to “Suspect Slain By Fortuna Police”

  1. skippy says:

    Sad and unfortunate. This was Jacob’s social networking page:

    http://www.myspace.com/twitches14

  2. GC says:

    He had it coming he was a peice of shit and anyone who says different is just a drug addict anyway. Right A.P.

    • come on says:

      Really he had a family now his kid will grow up not even knowing/remembering him. Did he need to be killed?

  3. Mario G says:

    This is yet another case of gross misconduct by the people we have appointed to protectus, the police. I hope th es offocer responsible for this MURDER gets the same punishmemt as any other violent criminal, life in state prison. Maybe that wil deture other officers from committing similar acts of senseless violence.

  4. Chris says:

    This cop should be punished for Patoning pepper spraying tasering then shooting him we should rally this. The cop should go on leave with out pay. Police brutallitly is a serious thing. I’m going get ahold my friend and we are going to take this to demonstration shame on those cops stand up people don’t let them get away with this bull. Join us in police brutallity.

    • Jake says:

      Police brutality is serious. But, so is getting beat by a suspect with your own asp (baton).
      I don’t think I’ll be joining you in ‘police brutality.’
      When are you and your friend starting your demonstration? Lame.
      Newmaker was a junkie thief. But, I’m sure he didn’t mean to cause a disturbance and try to beat up the cops.
      RIP anyhow. A death is never a good thing.

  5. rex everything says:

    It seems those police were not trained well enough to be on the job. If I was with three totally untrained friends and we had OC spray and nightsticks and a tazer. . . I would feel pretty fucking confident I could take any 26 year old drunk into custody.

    They should all be fired and investigated, and the City knows it and is withholding the “officers’” names.

  6. richard jeremy needham says:

    the police better give the power back to the people and be more careful about trigger happy attittudes they might have.there are some seriously insane people with nothing to lose that can pull crazy shit.I was in two riots and there are definately more citizens that file and pay any kind of taxes to support the system.This playing judge by so called professionals is ignorance.Even a judge has to have a better reason and meaning than that before sentenceing someone to death.I wont put up with bs at my place.

  7. PaWa says:

    This is a tragedy that began long, long ago. I knew jake very well when he was still a kid. And for the most part, he was a pretty good kid. Not perfect by a long shot, but at that point he still had the tremendous potential to grow into a pretty good adult. I wish I had stuck around long enough to give him a hand up. After reading the stories, it seems that Jake was so whacked out on crank that there was no stopping him. The cops tried several times to do so WITHOUT killing him.

    You want to know who I blame for his death? His father. You want to talk about a piece of work? I have no idea what Jerry is like now; I sincerely hope he has changed and gotten his sh*t together. I hate to say I doubt it, but I do. But back then when Jake was still a kid, Jerry was the one whacked out on crank half the time, or pot or drunk or whatever. And he was just plain MEAN. I’m not saying he didn’t love Jake, I guess he did. He just was so caught up in his own BS, he had little time or inclination, (and no gentleness and mercy) to raise his son right.

    I’ve got news for you parents, if you’re a drug addict with no morals and no caring for what’s right and wrong, don’t be surprised (and start blaming everyone else) when your kid grows up to be JUST LIKE YOU. I’m ashamed to admit it, but I used to be a part of that world, and through the grace of God, my son and I escaped from it. Now I’ve got almost a dozen years sobriety, and my son has an awesome family of his own.

    Before you sit down with your “friends” to do that next gagger or slam that quarter, take a good look at your kids that you allegedly love that are watching everything you do. And that are learning by YOUR example. Picture THEM dead with a needle hanging out of their arm, or with a bullet in them that they got for doing something really stupid while whacked out on drugs that YOU introduced them to. Now you tell me, who’s REALLY at fault here?

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