Archive | Fortuna

The Big Fortuna Hash Explosion


Severe Burns for Two Adult Victims; 
Nearby Infant Uninjured



Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel



It was a big boom with wickedly turn-of-the-ugly burns
in the Friendly City of Fortuna last night.

From today’s Fortuna Police Department’s report:

On Monday November 11, 2013 at approximately 10 pm, the Fortuna Police Department Communications Center received numerous 911 calls from subjects reporting an explosion at an apartment complex located at 137 12th Street in Fortuna.

One caller reported that a “hash lab” had exploded.

A Sergeant with the Fortuna Police Department arrived on scene and located two male subjects who had sustained severe burns to their upper torsos, arms and heads.

Responders from the Fortuna Volunteer Fire Department and City Ambulance arrived within minutes and assisted the injured males.

The two injured subjects were identified as Kenneth Nevers of Fortuna and Joseph White of Oakland.

Both of Nevers and White were transported to Fortuna’s Redwood Memorial
Hospital. They were later airlifted out of the area for treatment of severe burns.

Officers were able to locate several subjects who claimed to be within the apartment at the time of the explosion.  One of the subjects was a three month old infant.  The additional subjects—and baby– were reportedly uninjured.

While officers were checking the apartment, they observed items consistent with a butane process hash extraction lab.  They also located the area of the explosion and fire in the bathroom.

This is an open investigation and further details of the bake and quake will be released as they become available.

The Redheaded Blackbelt’s Kym Kemp has unsparingly sharp comments by readers of the whole hash-making affair breaking bad in the Friendly City.

* * * * * * * * *

People as slow and stupid as Darwin turtles never cease to amaze us.


Via Fortuna Police Department, the Redheaded Blackbelt and the Humboldt Sentinel

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Two Outstanding Warrants Lead to Two Absconding Arrests


A Bird in the Hand is Worth Two in the Bush


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


Nothing like an early Sunday morning chase at the crack of dawn to freshen the spirit and revitalize the senses.

They culprits didn’t get far.  In fact, they barely got out the door.

15 minutes after sunrise this morning– or at approximately 7:15 a.m.–  officers with the Fortuna Police Department responded to a residence in the 800 block of O Street to serve a search warrant for two individuals wanted for numerous outstanding warrants, FPD said.

Officers were met at the front door by the female owner of the residence.  She was duly advised of the search warrant.

run forestWhile at the front door of the residence, one of the suspects, Christopher Shane Cooper, age 31 from Fortuna, attempted to flee out a side door of the residence.  Mr. Cooper was apprehended by officers.

The second subject, Franklin Tyler Whilden, age 30 and also from Fortuna, attempted to flee from the front of the residence.  Mr. Whilden was also apprehended by FPD officers in short order.

Cooper was arrested for two outstanding felony warrants and two misdemeanor warrants.  He was booked into the Humboldt County Jail.

Whilden was arrested for two felony warrants, one misdemeanor warrant, and also lodged into the Humboldt County Jail. 

Both ended up going to the pokey.  The officers, however, went out for coffee and donuts.

* * * * * * * * *

moto twinThey must be twins because one person can’t be that dumb.






(Posted by Skippy Massey)

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Fortuna PD Cleans House


Friendly City to Remain Friendly


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


Attempted Assault With Knife leads to Arrest


On January 10th, 2013 at about 01:45 pm, the Fortuna
Police received a 911 call from a resident of the National
Motel reporting that a female subject was inside one
of the rooms
threatening to stab a male subject with a knife.

clarkThe first officer on scene could hear the victim yelling for help from within the room.  The officer subsequently contacted the subjects who were still engaged in an altercation, causing the officer to prone the female subject onto the ground at gunpoint.

After speaking with all parties involved and witnesses on scene officers placed Victoria Clark (age 36) of Fortuna under arrest for the following charges;

  • PC 245 Assault with a Deadly Weapon
  • PC 273.5 Domestic Violence
  • PC 236 False Imprisonment

Clark was transported to the Humboldt County Jail where she was booked
without further incident.


Convicted Felon Arrested with Two Firearms


mellOn January 09, 2013 at about 6:00 p.m., officers with the Fortuna Police Department and a Probation Officer from the Humboldt County Probation Department conducted a probation search on Christopher Glenn Mell (Age 32) who is currently on Parole with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation as well as local county probation for weapons related charges.

While searching his residence located in the 1400 block of Rohnerville Road, officers located a pistol, a rifle, ammunition, drug paraphernalia and morphine in Mell’s possession. The pistol was determined to have been stolen during a burglary in Arcata .

Mell was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility on the following charges:

  • Possession of stolen property
  • Felon in possession of a firearm
  • Felon in possession of ammunition
  • Possession of a controlled substance

Mell is currently being held in the Humboldt County Correctional Facility without bail.

We duly note the Probation Officer here actively supervising their client and taking the appropriate proactive measures alongside law enforcement.

We have rarely see this after reviewing over a hundred reports of a similar nature.

* * * * * * * *

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Crime, Fortuna, Local0 Comments

Crimes, Crooks, and Collisions


Officers Investigate High Profile Burglary, Fatal Collision, and Child Pornography


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


Friendly City Burglary

Fortuna– HCSO:  On 12-28-2012, at approximately 6:30 p.m.
the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office was notified of a burglary
which has occurred in the 6100 block of Rohnerville Road, Fortuna.

burg1When the deputy arrived he met with the home owners.  They told the deputy they left their residence at approximately 9:30 a.m. on that date.

At approximately 4:00 p.m. that same day the husband was called by Umpqua Bank and informed someone had tried to use his debit card at the Bear River Casino Pump and Play.

When the husband returned home at approximately 6:00 p.m., he discovered the front door to their residence was wide open.  When he checked burg2 burg3the residence he discovered the suspect(s) had entered through an unlocked front window.

Examining his residence he saw it was ransacked and numerous items including computers, cameras, jewelry and other high value items had been stolen from the residence.  The loss was estimated to be over $10,000.00.

After taking the report and conducting an on scene investigation, the investigating deputy spoke with Bear River Casino.  The Bear River Casino located and furnished a video tape and still photographs of the suspect and another male using the victim’s stolen debit card to the deputy.

The Sheriff’s Office is requesting the public’s assistance with identifying the suspect and the other male who was with him at the Bear River Pump and Play at the time the debit card was used.  They are pictured here.

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.


* * * * * * * *

Fatal Vehicle Collision 

bridgeHydesville- CHP:  A Hydesville woman was killed in a fatal car crash on Highway 36 yesterday.

Rita E. Boling, 44-years-old, died following a head-on collision around 6:49 p.m., according to the California Highway Patrol.

Thomas G. Adkisson, 74, of Laytonville, was driving a Dodge pickup truck westbound on State Route 36 at an unknown speed when he allowed his vehicle to leave the roadway edge, swerved left to get back on the roadway, crossed the center line and collided with Boling’s vehicle, according to a press release.

Both vehicles came to rest in the roadway.  Boling was transported to Redwood Memorial Hospital where she later died from her injuries, according to a press release.  Adkisson was also transported to Redwood Memorial Hospital where he was treated and later released.

CHP reports that drug or alcohol impairment does not appear to be a factor in the crash.  The press release indicates that both drivers were using seatbelts.

CHP continues to investigate the crash, according to their release.


* * * * * * * *

Child Pornography Arrest 

jokerEureka– HCSO:  In December, the Humboldt County Sheriffs Office was contacted by the Eureka Police Department of an ongoing multi-agency investigation into child pornography.

The Eureka Police Department had been advised by a Santa Clara Police Department Detective of a subject downloading child pornography in the Eureka area based upon an IP address that the Santa Clara PD had discovered through their investigation.

A Eureka Police detective wrote a search warrant for the subscriber information of the IP address.  It was learned
that the IP address returned to a residence in the 4300 block of Roberts Drive in Eureka.

The Eureka Police Detective contacted Humboldt County Sheriff’s Detectives and provided the information he learned.  A Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Detective wrote and obtained a Humboldt County Superior Court search warrant for the residence.

On Jaunuary 3, at approximately 8:45 a.m., Humboldt County Sheriffs Detectives served the search warrant and seized the computer and other electronics from the home.  After interviewing Christopher Jansen, 21-years-old, who resided in the home, detectives arrested him for felony possession of child pornography.

Jansen was booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility and his bail was set at $25,000.

* * * * * * * *

HCSO badge(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Crime, Eureka, Fortuna0 Comments

Fortuna Police Investigate Weapon Threat at High School


Quick Action Taken for the Safety of Students


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


On December 20, 2012, the Fortuna Police Department received information that a student was planning on bringing a weapon to the Fortuna Union High School campus
to possibly engage in acts of violence.

Upon receiving this information, the department met with high school and district administration and began working together to ensure the safety of students and staff.

Fortuna High School administration and Fortuna Police Department determined that canceling class at the high school today was the safest option and would give officials adequate time to conduct a thorough investigation.

The Fortuna Police Department and high school administrators worked late into the night to complete a thorough investigation and determined that the information was false.

Through the course of the investigation, it was determined that other students had also became aware of this information and were discussing bringing weapons to school for self-protection should an incident occur on campus.

“Throughout this investigation, the safety of student and staff was the first priority of both the department and the school,” said Sergeant Charles Ellebrecht. “Together, we decided that canceling class was the best option.”

Despite recent events, schools are one of the safest places kids can be.  The Fortuna Police Department works closely with all schools, public and private, within our city to enhance safety for students and staff, their release said.

old fortunaEach school is required to have a School Safety Plan specific to that campus that addresses most types of incidents. 

Officers train for a variety of emergencies in strong partnerships with school staff, who are dedicated to the education and safety of children.  There are procedures in place, such as shelter in place, evacuations, and lockdowns that can be implemented depending on the given situation,” FPD said.

* * * * * * *

Thank you, Fortuna Police and Mr. Senestraro.





East High





(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Fortuna, Local0 Comments

Stolen Vehicle Pursuit and One Wild Chase


Fortuna Police Tasers the Force


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


Yesterday at 3:40 in the afternoon, a Fortuna Police Officer was driving south on US 101 near the Hookton Road exit when he observed a new Dodge Durango driving erratically south on US 101.

The officer fell in behind the vehicle and paced the vehicle at speeds above 80 MPH.  The officer activated the patrol unit emergency lights and the driver failed to yield.

Not to be outdone, the driver sped up to speeds over 100 MPH.  At this time the FPD was advised that the vehicle had just been stolen from the Lithia car lot in Eureka.

The pursuit by officer and thieving scoundrel continued south on US 101 where additional Fortuna police units joined the chase.  Even two Rio Dell police units joined in the pursuit as the vehicle passed Rio Dell.  Now, that’s backup when you need it.

As the suspect vehicle passed Shively Road, the driver slowed and attempted a U-turn on the freeway.   That turned out to be a very bad choice. 

As the suspect driver made his erratic turn he collided into a Fortuna Police patrol car, causing damage to the patrol car’s front bumper, headlight, and right front quarter panel.  Oops– sorry about that, guys.

The driver didn’t stop, though.  Oh, no.  He turned onto Shively Road at a high rate of speed and was destined for glory.  Or something really bad to happen next.  It’s a bit of a roulette game with all the chips stacked against you.  It’s just not likely to turn out well.

The driver attempted to negotiate a hard right corner and lost control of the vehicle due to his high rate of jammin’ speed.  The vehicle collided into both a ditch and down a steep embankment, causing total damage to the vehicle.  But it wasn’t over yet.

The suspect was able to get out of the vehicle and run up the steep embankment.  Several officers gave foot chase.  The subject was ordered to stop, but he continued to run.  Yet another bad choice.

An officer discharged his Taser at the suspect, identified as Paul Force, age 39 of Redway.  The crispy zapping voltage of the Taser stopped Force in his tracks.  He rolled down the embankment after his nerves, legs, and synapses gave out like jello.  Tasers will do that to you.  Parts just don’t work while you convulse.

While you might believe this would come to an end, well, it didn’t.

Force attempted to flee.  And he was Tasered again.  A 2nd officer discharged his Taser at Force, which caused Force to fall– again.  He was ultimately taken into custody.

Force was taken to Redwood Memorial Hospital for treatment of minor injuries and then booked into the County Jail for:

  • Auto Theft
  • Felony Pursuit and
  • Resisting Arrest

A Fortuna Police Officer sustained a minor injury to his leg during the foot pursuit of Force, the FPD release said.

But you should’ve seen the other guy:  car crash, a tuck and roll down a steep cliff, running up said cliff, tasered twice, falling down twice, and then subdued and cuffed.  Whew.  That makes for a big and lousy day.  Should’ve stayed in bed.

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Crime, Fortuna0 Comments

Ambrosini School Burglarized


Thousands of dollars worth of equipment stolen


Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel


Law enforcement is searching for answers after an elementary school on he south side of Fortuna was burglarized.

Fortuna Police Depatment personnel responded to the report earlier today.

On October 28, 2012, Officers responded to Ambrosini School (Rohner Street) in1 Fortuna for a report of a burglary. Upon arrival, Officers and staff determined that someone forced entry into several classrooms by breaking windows. After making entry into the classrooms, the suspect(s) stole several thousand dollars worth of school equipment, including several laptop computers.

Officers and school staff worked for hours processing evidence, including reviewing video surveillance, collecting finger prints, and DNA evidence from the school.

“It is appalling that someone would break into a school and steal equipment that is used to educate our children” said Sergeant Charles Ellebrecht. “Schools across the state already have to deal with tight budgets and then when education equipment is stolen, our children are the real victims left to suffer”.

The department is asking that anyone with information contact the department’s WeTip Hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME. Callers will remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000.00 if their information leads to an arrest and conviction.

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Bad Dude Arrested on Prolific Warrant Pile


Timothy Ramirez Should Have Headed for Sunnier Climes


Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel


On Monday, October 15, at 1:30 a.m. in the morning, Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office deputies drove to the 200 block of Palmer Blvd in Fortuna searching for a
wanted subject identified as Timothy Scott Ramirez,

Mr Ramirez was reportedly living at the address they were checking.

When deputies arrived they knocked on the front door were allowed entry into the residence.

Inside the residence in a back bedroom they located a male matching Timothy Scott Ramirez’s description.  The male, however, said his name wasn’t ‘Timothy Ramirez’ but… ’Michael Ramirez’.

Deputies were able to determine that the dubiously named Michael Ramirez was in fact, actually Timothy, and arrested him on eight outstanding arrest warrants.

Two of those arrest warrants were for felony domestic violence, one for vandalism, one for driving on a suspended license, and three separate probation violation warrants.

Deputies also located a pistol grip 12 gauge shot gun and live shotgun ammunition in the room Ramirez was staying in.

Ramirez was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where he booked on the warrants and fresh charges of providing false information to a police officer, failure to appear on a felony charge, and being felon in possession of a shotgun.  He is being held without bail.

It seems those who have fled from the long arm of the law always seem to stick around Humboldt.  You’d guess with eight warrants and being readily recognizable, one would abscond somewhere where the locale is discreet, hospitable, the cotton is high, and… simply further away. 

Oh, we don’t know, say Malibu perhaps?

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Crime, Fortuna0 Comments

Safeway Building Spanks Bad Driver

Whacked and Intoxicated Driver Nearly Collides with Patrol Car, Wrecks into Safeway


Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel


From the Friendly City of Fortuna:

On Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at about 11:30 pm, the Fortuna Police received an emergency call reporting that a green-colored SUV was traveling on Redwood Way at speeds
in excess of 70 mph.

That’s pretty darn fast for the Friendly City.  It’s certainly bound to bring attention to oneself as compared to, say, using the traditional discretionary and low-key incognito method of camouflauge by blending in with other drivers like a shameless chameleon.

Officers were in the area of the violation within a minute– but were initially unable to locate the lightening quick SUV that was beating tracks.

Minutes later, dispatch was notified that the vehicle was now travelling on Maxwell Street in an
erratic manner.

As a Fortuna Police Department Sergeant turned onto Barry Avenue from Redwood Way, the SUV proceeded through the intersection at a high rate of speed, bypassing the stop sign altogether, and, in a fit of panic and stupidity, nearly collided with the driver’s side of the patrol unit.

As the SUV proceeded merrily Redwood Way, it was immediately located by another officer who initiated a traffic stop.  As the officer initiated his overhead emergency lights, the vehicle made a sharp turn into the Safeway parking lot.

Unfortunately for the driver, there was a large Safeway building in the way.  It’s been there for years.  Contrary to popular belief  it hasn’t moved an inch in all that time.  True to the matter of time and space and basic physics, the vehicle subsequently collided with the Safeway building while traveling at a moderate rate of speed.

As the officer approached the scene of the collision, he observed the driver of the vehicle exit and run.  Curiously enough, she didn’t run away;  no, that would be smart and efficient.  She decided to try the old ‘bait and switch’ trick instead.

She ran between the damaged front bumper of her stuck caboose and the Safeway building.  Ingeniously positioning herself under the front bumper and appearing to be realistically pinned between the two spots like a pig caught in a poke, she squawked and moaned and screamed that she’d been hit by the vehicle, and, by the way, she wasn’t the driver, either.

Hmmm.  What a perplexing predicament.

Fortunately, officers are highly trained nowadays.

Smarter than the average driving bear, this FPD officer didn’t fall
for her elaborate ruse.

The driver was identified as 25-year-old Fortuna resident Katrina Lane, who was also found to be the registered owner of the damaged SUV.

Lane was treated at Redwood Memorial Hospital for minor injuries– and for falling out of the Stupid Tree and hitting every dimwitted branch on the way down to the ground. 

An adult passenger, whose name was not released, was uninjured and refused medical treatment.

Lane was arrested and booked into the Humboldt County Jail on the following charges:

  • CVC 23152 (a) – Driving under the influence
  • CVC 12500 – Driving unlicensed
  • PC 1203.2 – Violation of probation

It is unknown whether or not Ms. Lane was nominated for an Academy Award following her Oscar-winning performance.


(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Crime, Fortuna0 Comments

Attempted Home Invasion in Fortuna

Victim Fires Shotgun at Suspects


Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel


From the Fortuna Police Department press release:

This morning, September 21, at about 5:45 a.m., officers with the Fortuna Police Department responded to the 4100 block of Loop Road for a report of two subjects trying to force
entry into a residence through the front door.

While responding, officers received information that a firearm had been discharged.

Upon arrival, officers contacted the victims who reported that two male subjects had approached the residence and began trying to force entry into the residence through the front door.

While the subjects were trying to get through the secured door, one of the victims obtained a shotgun and then fired
at the subjects through a nearby window.

The two subjects then fled and entered a newer model
blue Mini-Van with a partial California License Plate of “6TL”.

This investigation is ongoing and the department is asking that anyone with information contact the departments Anonymous Tip Hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME.

Callers will remain anonymous and may be eligible for a case reward if their information leads to an arrest and conviction.

* * * * * * *

In other news, the FPD also released this announcement:

Sex Offender Arrested for Failing to Register

On September 20, 2012, at about 7:15 p.m., an officer with the Fortuna Police Department was on patrol when he observed a subject known to be a registered sex offender.

The officer conducted a check on the subject’s registration status and determined that he had failed to update his registration which was due in mid August.

As a result of the violation, the officer contacted Ronald Owings (age 56) and placed him under arrest.

During the arrest, the officer determined that Owings was in possession of 6.3 grams of methamphetamine, as well as a hypodermic syringe loaded with suspected methamphetamine.

Upon further investigation, the officer learned that, although last registered in Loleta, Owings had been living in Fortuna.


Owings was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility and booked for:

  • Possession of Methamphetamine,
  • Possession of a Hypodermic Syringe,
  • and Failure to register as a Sex Offender.

The Friendly City has been busy as of late.

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Crime, Fortuna0 Comments

Gang of Four Allegedly Attempts to Assault and Kidnap Fortunans

Multiple Felonies Claimed:  Kidnapping, Burglary, Assault with a Deadly Weapon

Ten Individuals Affected by Pepper Spray; Adults and Children Sent to Hospital

Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel


Today, Wednesday, September 19 at around 10:00 am, officers with the Fortuna Police Department responded to an apartment complex located in the 100 block of 12th Street for a report of a strong odor of pepper spray emanating about the complex, according to the Fortuna Police Department press announcement recently released.

Upon arrival, officers contacted several subjects who reported that they had just been assaulted by a group of male subjects who fled the complex in two vehicles.

Moments later, an officer located and stopped the involved vehicles and contacted the occupants, all of whom were later arrested.
The suspects then allegedly discharged a canister of bear pepper spray at numerous occupants within the residence including minor children.During the investigation, the victims reported that the subjects had forced entry into an apartment.  They forcibly held two subjects in a bedroom while demanding marijuana that they had allegedly stolen.

The suspects then attempted to forcibly remove one of the victims from the apartment.

City Ambulance responded and transported three adults and two minor children to the hospital where they were treated for moderate injuries.As a result of the incident, a total of ten victims experienced symptoms associated with the pepper spray.

The following subjects were arrested:

  • Gregory Stephens, age 36, of Eureka;
  • Wyatt Williamson, age 26, of Eureka;
  •  Trevor Bohn, age 27, of Eureka;
  • James Michael Oneil, age 58, of Loleta

Gregory Stephens

Wyatt Williamson

Trevor Bohn

James Michael Oneil


All four subjects were transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility and booked on the following charges:

  • Penal Code Section 459 (Burglary)
  • Penal Code Section 236 (False Imprisonment)
  • Penal Code Section 273 (Felony Child Abuse)
  • Penal Code Section 207 (Kidnapping)
  • Penal Code Section 245 (Assault with a Deadly Weapon)

This investigation is ongoing and the department is asking anyone with information to contact the department, or to remain anonymous, contact the department WeTip Hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME.



Posted in Crime, Fortuna2 Comments

Another DUI Checkpoint With Zero Drunk Drivers

Fortuna police arrest three paperwork violators, one of whom had felony warrants


Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel


Yet again, a federally funded ‘papers please’ checkpoint — supposedly to catch those driving under the influence — has come and gone, with zero drunk driving arrests to show for it.

To meet the requirements of their National Highway Traffic Safety Administration grant, the Fortuna Police Department was still required to send out a press release to trumpet the results of their DUI-free DUI checkpoint on Sept. 8. After 479 drivers were interrogated, the FPD managed to make three non-DUI related arrests:

  • 27-year-old Mary Schaefer of Fortuna was popped for driving on a suspended license;
  • 36-year-old Pedro Matiaz of Fortuna was popped for driving on a suspended license;
  • 35-year-old Tyrel Little of Bridgeville was popped for driving on a suspended license, and for outstanding warrants previously issued on charges of drug possession and child endangerment.

The checkpoint took place on Saturday on the 1500 block of Main Street, with all of three field sobriety tests administered between 8:30 p.m. and 2:30 a.m.

The FPD press statement regurgitated the propaganda from the NHTSA, which claims that “checkpoints have provided the most effective documented results of any of the DUI enforcement strategies, while also yielding considerable cost savings of $6 for every $1 spent.”

When a Eureka-area checkpoint was rained out in 2010, the subsequent Eureka Police Department “saturation patrols” netted four DUI arrests. Several subsequent DUI checkpoints found no drunk drivers at all.

The NHTSA grant is administered by the California Office of Traffic Safety.

Posted in Crime, Fortuna0 Comments

Unfortunate Fortunan Arrested with Zorro’s Assistance

A Bird in the Attic is Worth Two Warrants in the Bush


Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel


FORTUNA, CA – On Wednesday, August 15, 2012 at about 9:00 am, an FPD officer was in the area of the 500 block of Eighth Street when he observed 30-year-old Demarcus Earl Conley who was known to the officer from several prior contacts.  The officer was aware that Conley was on probation and had an active warrant out for his arrest.

When the officer attempted to contact Conley, he fled into a nearby residence of an acquaintance through an open front window, according to the Fortuna Police Department release.

Officers pursued Conley who was believed to be in the residence attic refusing to surrender.  After attempts to negotiate with Conley failed, the Fortuna Police Department’s K-9, “Zorro”, responded.  Zorro was deployed in the attic– at which time Conley reconsidered and agreed to comply with officers.  Mr. Conley was taken into custody without further incident.

During the incident, officers observed illegal items in the acquaintance’s residence.

Once Conley was removed, the residence was secured until a search warrant was obtained.  At about 11:30 am, officers served the search warrant and collected the contraband.  This investigation is currently ongoing and no further information is available at this time.

Conley was booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility for his “No Bail” warrant (Accessory/Possession of Stolen Vehicle), Probation Violation, and Resisting Arrest.

Zorro received an atta-boy.

* * * * * * * * *

What are friends for?  One friend’s bust leading to another’s search warrant.  No wonder familiarity breeds contempt.

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Crime, Fortuna0 Comments

Fortuna Felonies

Rodeo Weekend Nets Numerous Arrests


Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel


Whew.  Things have been busy for the FPD in the Friendly City lately.  Here’s the mishaps:

Suspect Arrested for Felony Evading

On July 21 at approximately 8:34 p.m., Officers initiated a traffic stop on a 1989 Isuzu Trooper in the 400 Block of N. Fortuna Boulevard.  The vehicle initially yielded to the Officer.  As the Officer attempted to contact the driver of the vehicle, he drove away and led officers with the Fortuna Police Department on a one-mile pursuit through the streets of Fortuna.

The Suspect finally stopped his vehicle in the 800 block of P Street and fled on foot.  Officers secured the area and set up a perimeter.  The Fortuna Police Department K9, Zorro, was utilized and tracked the suspect to a back yard in the 900 block of 8th Street.

K9 Zorro located the 48 year-old Suspect Peter Henry Barrett hiding under some foliage in the side yard of the residence.  Barrett was then taken into custody and transported to the Humboldt County Jail for Felony Evading of Police Officers, Driving on a Suspended Drivers license, and Violation of Felony Probation.

Sergeant Kadle stated, “Zorro did what he is trained to do.  If we didn’t have the K9 we may have not have found Barrett due to the fact he was hidden so well.”


20 year-old Cutten woman arrested after running down male with her vehicle

On July 22, 2012 at about 1:39 p.m., Fortuna Police received numerous emergency calls reporting a woman in a Toyota pick-up had just run down a male subject in the Safeway parking lot.

Upon the arrival of officers, it was discovered through several witnesses and involved parties statements that 20 year old Jessica Riley, of Cutten, had been involved in an argument with her boyfriend moments earlier at a nearby gas station.  After her boyfriend refused to discuss the situation any further with her, he left the area on foot with a male friend of his.  Riley, who was reportedly still upset over the argument, followed the two males in her Toyota pick-up.

As the males were walking across the Safeway parking lot, she drove into the parking lot and drove directly for them at approximately 15 mph.

Her boyfriend, whose name was not released, jumped out of the path of Riley’s vehicle and was not struck, but his friend, 20 year old Fortuna resident Marco Alvarez was struck by the vehicle and knocked to the ground.  Alvarez was transported to Redwood Memorial Hospital where he was treated and released for moderate injuries.  It was further discovered that during the incident, Riley’s 1 ½ year old daughter was in the Toyota pick-up but was unharmed.  The child was later released to a responsible adult.

Riley was arrested and booked into the Humboldt County Jail on the following charges:

PC 245(a)(1) – Assault with a deadly weapon
PC 664/245(a)(1) – Attempted assault with a deadly weapon
PC 273A(b) – Child endangerment


DUI Enforcement Operation Results

Officers from the Fortuna Police Department were deployed this weekend to stop and arrest impaired drivers in the Department’s ongoing traffic safety campaign.  DUI saturation patrols were deployed on Friday, July 20th, and Saturday, July 21st, in areas with high frequencies of DUI collisions and or arrests.

As a result of these saturation patrols, 25 drivers were stopped for various vehicle code violations.  Officers evaluated six drivers for DUI and of these six drivers; five were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.  A total of six vehicles were towed.  One driver was arrested for DUI after striking a parked vehicle.

Ashley Peterson (Age 23) of McKinleyville:
23152(a) CVC – Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
11350(a) HS – Possession of a controlled substance

Nanette Tucker (Age 45) of Carlotta:
23152(a) CVC – Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs

Justin Byrum (Age 19) of Rio Dell:
23152(a) CVC – Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
23140 CVC – Under age 21 with BAC above 0.05
24400 CVC – Driving without headlamps

Peter Barrett (Age 48) of Eureka:
2800.2 CVC – Felony evading
1203.2 PC – Violation of probation
14601.1 CVC – Driving with a suspended license

Todd Anderson (Age 28) of Loleta:
23152(a) – Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs

James Fulton (Age 48) of Fortuna:
23152(a) – Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI Collision)

* * * * * * *

The Fortuna Police have been hopping.  The rodeo weekend was full of festivity and frolic for most– good, clean old-fashioned family fun– and felonious frippery for others.

(posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Crime, Fortuna, Local0 Comments

Fairfield Homicide Suspect Nabbed In Fortuna


Warren Sloan Wanted in Slaying of 19-year-old Woman


Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel


The suspect in the brutal killing of a 19-year old in Fairfield last month was nabbed today in Fortuna.

Warren Herman Sloan III, 40, was reportedly in the Fortuna area after skipping town following the alleged stabbing in his hometown on March 31. The Fortuna Police Department worked with law enforcement in Fairfield, as well as with the United States Marshall’s Office, to locate Sloan.

At about 5:30 p.m., a patrolman observed Sloan walking along the 500 block of South Fortuna Boulevard. After he began walking towards the Six Rivers Motel, the cop made contact with Sloan and arrested him without incident.

Sloan is accused of causing the death of Cheynah Watson, 19, and originally from Brookings, Oregon.

Pictured at left, hers was the sixth homicide in Fairfield this year.

Posted in Crime, Fortuna2 Comments

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.

Posted in Crime, Fortuna9 Comments

Congressional Contenders Gather In Fortuna

Nine candidates, only one seat

By Gabriele Fellows
Humboldt Sentinel


The spirit of democracy was alive and well Thursday night almost 300 miles from Sacramento.

A Congressional Candidate Forum was held at the Fortuna High School gym on March 1st where prospective office seekers spoke their peace to a zealious crowd of individuals.

A total of nine ambitious souls from all walks of life are vying for the freshly formed 2nd Congressional district which now includes Marin and parts of Sonoma County near the coast.

The California Redistricting Commission combined the 1st and 6th districts due to the retirement of Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey.

Properly aligned on stage facing a crowd of voters from all demographics, each candidate briefly introduced themselves and spoke about their diverse experience.

Four questions were posted to each candidate with a one minute window for response. Questions were provided ahead of time to help elicit succinct answers.

More than half of the candidates are from the Marin area and either hold political offices or are well healed elements of the private sector.

Posted in Fortuna, Politics1 Comment

Drug-Addled Woman Arrested In Stabbing

Randi Barton, 23, also a felon in possession of ammo


Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel


A man stumbling into Fortuna City Hall with a bleeding stab wound led to the arrest of a young woman on the south end of Fortuna this morning.

At approximately 11:03 a.m. this morning, an unnamed 57-year-old victim came to the front counter of the Fortuna Police Department holding the right side of his neck, which was gushing blood.

According to an FPD release, the victim, whose name was withheld, said he’d been stabbed in the neck by 23-year-old Randi Elizabeth Barton, who he cohabitates with at a home on the 3400 block of Rohnerville Road.

While FPD detectives immediately provided first aid, they questioned the victim, who turned over a knife blade with the handle broken off, the implement that he had supposedly been stabbed with. He was later treated and released from Redwood Memorial Hospital.

Law enforcement responded to their home and arrested Barton without incident. She was transported to Humboldt County jail and booked on charges of assault with a deadly weapon, battery on a cohabitant likely to produce great bodily injury, violation of her probation, possession of a controlled substance and being under the influence of a controlled substance.

Posted in Crime, Fortuna7 Comments

K-9 Helps Catch Fortuna Parolee, Accomplice

Chris Mell led Sheriff’s Deputies on a high speed chase earlier this week


Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel


With the crucial assistant of a canine, an escaped parolee and his alleged accomplice are spending the night in the clink.

Fortuna resident Christopher Glen Mell, 30, had evaded the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office in a vehicle earlier this week, and the convicted felon was also suspected of illegally possessing a firearm.

At about 4:20 p.m. today, a Fortuna Police Department detective received a tip from the Rio Dell Police Department concerning this wanted suspect, suggesting that he was at a home located at 129 Basayo Village in Fortuna.

Uniformed FPD patrol officers, along with FPD Investigation Unit detectives responded to the residence, and immediately noticed movement within a bedroom of the residence, although verbal contact with the occupants could not be established. Just afterwards, a motorist arrived at the apartment complex and told police he had responded there at Mell’s request to transport him.

With the aid of state parole agents, RDPD and HCSO deputies, law enforcement secured a perimeter around the apartment, while FPD called in sergeant Jason Kadle, their K-9 handler, to bring in ‘Zorro’ to find Mell, and after getting permission over the phone from the apartment tenant to enter, officers attempted to contact Mell at the front door.

Still refusing to communicate with the police, the officers made several verbal commands — as did their K-9 dog, whose barked notifications of his “intent to enter” apparently motivated the occupants to announce themselves and surrender, according to a press statement by sergeant Aaron Starcher.

First to be arrested was 25-year-old Fortuna resident Angela King, who was wanted on a felony arrest warrant; soon afterwards, Mell came forward and was taken into custody without further incident. Both were transported to county jail.

“When law enforcement agencies are willing to come together, share information and provide mutual aid the outcome is generally positive for the communities in which we serve,” Starcher stated. “With the assistance of each of these allying agencies we were able to make the city of Fortuna a safer place tonight and do it in a manner that was the safest for our officers. The implementation of the K-9 program at the Fortuna Police Department has once again proven to be an effective resource for our officers with assisting them I the apprehension of potentially dangerous suspects.”

Posted in Crime, Fortuna0 Comments

Three Year Fugitive Caught In Fortuna

Pimnunihus Cennabe of Siskiyou County had been hiding in remote locations

Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel


A routine patrol near a service station led local police to crack a case which had frustrated state authorities for over three years.

On Wednesday at about 8 p.m., the Fortuna Police Department’s Brian Taylor was working uniformed patrol near the Chevron Gas Station on Main Street when he contacted a male subject who he identified as wanted fugitive Pimnunihus Cenname — a man listed as a high escape risk individual who was considered to be armed and dangerous.

The 32-year-old’s identity was confirmed as a wanted parolee out of Siskiyou County, who had been convicted of first degree robbery and was sought by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation since November of 2008. Taylor took the suspect into custody without incident and took him to county jail.

According to an FPD release, Cenname told law enforcement that he had been on the run and had eluded capture by staying in remote locations since 2008.

Posted in Crime, Fortuna0 Comments

Wanted Man Flees Fortuna Police

Franklin Whilden accused of violating probation conditions


Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel


Fortuna Police Department personnel are asking for public assistance tonight after one of their routine probation search operations resulted in a chase and evasion by a wanted man.

At about 12:30 p.m. today, FPD cops were at the a home on the 3000 block of Church Street conducting their probation search against a resident. Upon arrival, they observed Franklin “Tyler” Whilden, 29, fleeing from the rear of the residence.

After a brief chase through the neighborhood, the suspect managed to evade FPD personnel, and he is currently being sought by police.

According to the FPD in a press statement, they were not at the home to search for Whilden, and the suspect was not a resident of the home they had arrived yet; nonetheless, the cops were well aware that the man was wanted on charges of violating the conditions of his probation, as well as on other warrants.

“Whilden has an extensive criminal history and is currently on several counts of probation in addition to the several warrants,” FPD sergeant Charles Ellebrecht stated. “He needs to be removed from our streets.”

The suspect’s previous criminal record include charges of grand theft, vehicle theft, drug possession and vandalism, in addition to the current charges of probation violation and evading a peace officer.

FPD personnel are asking community members with information on Whilden’s location to contact their Crime Hotline at (800) 78-CRIME. The cops are offering a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to his arrest and conviction.

Posted in Crime, Fortuna0 Comments

At-Large Parolee Surrenders

Fortuna Police surround, arrest Dwayne Fields

Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel 

Fortuna Police Department personnel arrested a wanted fugitive in the midnight hour this morning after a brief stand-off.

At about 12:40 a.m. today, FPD cops contacted a subject who provided them with what allegedly turned out to be a false name. Investigators determined this identity mismatch after following up on the given name and a description of the subject’s tattoos, which lead the FPD to determine his true identity as Dwayne Fields, a parolee at large who is subject to immediate arrest due to his release status.

FPD personnel proceeded to converge at a residence on the 500 block of 14th Street, where Fields was located in a locked bedroom. The cops told Fields that the home was surrounded and that his surrender would be required. After about three minutes, the wanted fugitive surrendered to the FPD without incident.

Fields was booked into county jail on charges of giving a false name to a police officer, in addition to his outstanding parole warrant.

Posted in Crime, Fortuna0 Comments

Eureka Car Thief Nabbed In Fortuna

At-large parolee Jason Johnson caught with meth, meds, paraphernalia


Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel 


A Eureka man who allegedly committed grand theft auto was hauled back to the county seat and booked into the county lockup after he was caught fleeing through Fortuna this morning.

Jason David Johnson, 27, was taken into custody by Fortuna Police Department personnel after a brief pursuit on southbound Highway 101. FPD was alerted to a stolen car which Johnson was allegedly driving at about 6:50 a.m. this morning — evidently the Eureka-area victim had just jump-started their vehicle and was putting away jumper cables when the vehicle was stolen.

During the pursuit, which stretched between the Palmer Boulevard and Kenmar Road exits, Johnson apparently threw 7.9 grams of suspected methamphetamine out of the vehicle, which FPD later collected. Upon searching the vehicle, the cops found an additional 10.6 grams of meth packaged for sale, along with several prescription medications also packaged for sale.

Before being transported to county jail, Johnson was treated at Redwood Memorial Hospital in Fortuna after he admitted to consuming a baggie of meth, according to a release by FPD sergeant Charles Ellebrecht.

As a wanted parolee at large, Johnson is not eligible for bail, and was further booked on charges of possession of meth for sales, possession of prescription meds without a prescription, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of stolen property, transportation of a controlled substance and driving under the influence.

Posted in Crime, Eureka, Fortuna0 Comments

Fortuna Volunteer Fire Department Burglarized

Report only issued by FPD a month later


Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel


It took the Fortuna Police Department nearly a month to alert the local media and populace regarding a major burglary at the city’s fire station.

Yesterday, the FPD posted notice of an investigation of a Sept. 13 burglary at the Fortuna Volunteer Fire Department. According to a release, a suspect allegedly entered the fire station and stole radios, lighting equipment and other emergency equipment. FVFD sources say these items are of great value to the community as they are used in life saving matters and are desperately needed.

FPD has posted surveillance video which can be viewed here: They are also asking for an informant to come forward and contact their nationalized crime hotline at (800) 78-CRIME. Callers will allegedly remain anonymous and be eligible for a cash reward up to $1,000.

Posted in Crime, Fortuna0 Comments

Juvenile Bicyclist Injured In Collision

No arrests expected according to Fortuna police


Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel


A Fortuna child was flown to a Bay Area hospital today following a collision with a vehicle early this morning.

At about 7:50 a.m., Fortuna Police Department personnel responded to the 900 block of Fortuna Boulevard to respond to a reported accident. There they found a sedan which had been exiting the driveway of a local business. According to eyewitness reports, a parent and an 11-year-old child were riding their bicycles south on the northbound side of the street when the vehicle was exiting the driveway. Missing the parent, the vehicle struck the juvenile on the bicycle.

An ambulance responded to the scene, and the juvenile reported a complaint of pain to the ribcage area, according to an FPD release. The juvenile and parent declined medical assistance and transport to the hospital at the scene, instead continuing their bicycle ride, and the driver of the vehicle was also uninjured.

Only later did FPD learn that the juvenile ended up going to the hospital for further evaluation, followed by an airlift to an Oakland-area hospital for treatment of an undetermined internal injury.

The traffic collision is still under investigation, although no arrests or citations are expected to occur in this matter, according to the FPD.

Posted in Crime, Fortuna0 Comments

Information Sought In Daytime Break-in

Fortuna Police stumped by Sept. 24 residential burglary


Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel 


Fortuna Police Department personnel are asking for information regarding a residential burglary last Saturday.

Sometime in the daytime hours of Sept. 24, according to an FPD release, a forceful break-in occurred on the 200 block of Sunnybrook Drive. In their investigation, law enforcement determined that a large amount of cash and camera equipment was stolen from the residence.

FPD apparently has no further leads in the case, and the department is asking for the public assistance in this investigation, according to a statement by Charles Ellebrecht.

Anyone observing suspicious activity in the area between 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on Saturday is asked to call FPD detective Tim Dias at 1-800-78-CRIME. Callers to the hotline are supposedly anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000.00.

Posted in Crime, Fortuna0 Comments

Two Arrested In Fortuna Burglary

David Hanna, Chyanne Smith booked on stolen property, drug and weapons charges


Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel


Two Fortuna residents are in county jail today as a result of their arrest in connection with a commercial burglary yesterday.

At about 7 a.m. on Sept. 24, Fortuna Police Department personnel responded to a reported burglary at a business on 12th Street, where law enforcement discovered evidence of a forced entry and several missing computers and other items.

During the course of their investigation, FPD obtained a search warrant for a nearby unit at the Park West Apartments at 137 12th Street. Upon executing the warrant, FPD recovered several of the stolen items and arrested David Hanna, 21, and Chyanne Smith, 20.

Hanna was booked into county jail on charges of burglary, possession of stolen property and being a felon in possession of ammunition. Smith was also booked on stolen property charges as well as possession of a controlled substance without a prescription.

“This investigation is still ongoing and we expect more arrests in the near future,” FPD detective Tim Dias stated in a release.

According to a further statement by FPD sergeant Charles Ellebrecht, residents are encouraged to call an FPD WeTip Crime Line to be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000 for any assistance in this case. That number is (800) 78-CRIME.

Posted in Crime, Fortuna2 Comments

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