Public Safety briefs Nov. 8, 2016

The Betty Court fire. Arcata Fire photo

The Betty Court fire. Arcata Fire photo

Reward for McK health club fire info

Arcata Fire/HCSO

REWARD OFFERED Arcata Fire District and the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, in cooperation with Alterra America Insurance Company, is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons who initiated a fire at The Club at Mill Creek, at 1570 Betty Ct. in McKinleyville in the early morning hours of Oct. 23. Contact the Arcata Fire District at (707) 825-2000 or the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office at (707) 445-7251 with any information that may identify the circumstance and/or person(s) involved in this fire.

Whimpering dog found in box

Mad River Union

FERNDBRIDGE/MCKINLEYVILLE – A whimpering dog was found inside a cramped plastic container last Friday evening, Oct. 28 near the river bar in Fernbridge.

At about 9:30 p.m., a Humboldt County Sheriff’s deputy responded to the area near the Eel River on a report of a possible dog in a box.

The reporting party directed the deputy to a green plastic container near the river bar. Whimpering could be heard from within the box, which contained a black-and-white female dog. The dog appeared to be a pit-bull/cattle dog of mixed breed. There was no food or water for the dog, and the container was very confining in size, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

The deputy took custody of the dog and transported it to the Humboldt County Animal Shelter in McKinleyville, where it is currently being cared for.

This case is being investigated as an incident of felony animal cruelty.

Anyone with information in regards to this case is encouraged to contact Sgt. McCall or Animal Control Officer Patton at (707) 445-7251.

Violence erupts in McK

Mad River Union

McKINLEYVILLE – A security guard and two other people at the McKinleyville Shopping Center were assaulted during an altercation Sunday evening, Oct. 30,  which led to the arrest the next day of 46-year-old Scott Crane.

Humboldt County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the 1500 block of City Center Road in McKinleyville at about 6:30 p.m. Oct. 30 on a report of a physical altercation in progress.


Scott Crane

Upon arrival, deputies observed a male facedown on the ground with bystanders/witnesses nearby. Deputies also contacted the 62-year-old male victim, who was being treated by medical personnel. The victim, a security guard at the shopping center, was asked to remain on scene while deputies contacted the man on the ground.

The male on the ground was identified as Crane, of McKinleyville.

Deputies discovered that the security guard and another man were talking to Crane when things turned violent. The guard and the other man were allegedly assaulted by Crane. A woman intervened and was assaulted too.

While deputies were interviewing Crane, the victim left in the ambulance. Deputies spoke with witnesses on scene and confirmed Crane was the aggressor during this incident. Due to the victim not staying for a statement, Crane was medically cleared/questioned and released on scene, according to a press release from the Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies later interviewed the security guard at a local hospital. The victim, who received minor injuries, said he wished to pursue assault charges against Crane.

The following day, deputies located Crane in front of a residence on the 2100 block of McKinleyville Avenue in McKinleyville.  Crane was arrested on suspicion of assault/battery and violation of probation. He was taken to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility and booked, with his bail set at $20,000.

Another mobile hash lab 'splodes

Mad River Union

ARCATA – A mobile hash lab operating out of a 1996 Chrysler coupe exploded Tuesday evening, Nov. 1, after one of the occupants lit a cigarette before the butane gas had dissipated. The two occupants received significant burns and are now being treated at a burn treatment center in San Francisco.

After receiving a report of a car on fire, Arcata Fire District responded to the 1300 block of F Street in Arcata shortly after 6 p.m. Officers with the Arcata Police Department were dispatched at 6:17 p.m.

Upon arrival, officers located a 1996 Chrysler coupe fully engulfed in flames. Two people suffering from burns were located on scene. They were later identified as Emily Tice, 22, of Arcata and Rolin Smith, 27, of Akron, Ohio. Tice was found to be the registered owner of the vehicle. Tice and Smith were transported to the Mad River Community Hospital by ambulance for treatment of their injuries and later flown to a burn clinic in San Francisco.

After the fire was extinguished, officers and fire department personnel were able to examine the vehicle in an attempt to locate the cause of the fire. Evidence was located in the vehicle that indicated the occupants were manufacturing concentrated cannabis. As part of the extraction process the subjects were using butane in the confined space of the vehicle.

It was later learned by officers that one of the vehicle occupants lit a cigarette within the vehicle before the butane gases had dissipated, which was the source of ignition for the fire.

The Arcata Police Department will be forwarding the case to the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office requesting charges against both Tice and Smith for allegedly manufacturing a controlled substance.

Suspect jailed for lewd conduct at HSU

Mad River Union

HUMBOLDT STATE – A suspended Humboldt State student was arrested on suspicion of indecent exposure Sunday, Oct. 30 after he allegedly exposed himself to two students at the campus’ science complex.

Michael Wayne Hargrove, who is on interim suspension, was immediately arrested by University Police and transported to the Humboldt County jail, where he remains in custody. He has been arraigned and has his next court date on Nov. 14. Unless he posts bond, he will remain in custody until then, according to a press release from Humboldt State.

If he posts bond, University Police will be notified immediately upon his release. Additionally, campus police are seeking a stay-away order to permanently restrict Hargrove from Humboldt State.

In the meantime, Hargrove has been ordered to stay off campus, and he will be arrested if he returns. University Police plan to put out a flier asking the campus community to notify them if he is spotted on or around campus.

Anyone with information about this or similar incidents should contact University Police at (707) 826-5555. Such information will help police to build a better case and have a better understanding of what Hargrove was doing before this incident, according to Humboldt State.

Plucked from pontoon boat

U.S. Coast Guard

EUREKA — The U.S. Coast Guard assisted a man aboard a 25-foot pontoon boat stuck in the mud near Daby Island in Humboldt Bay Wednesday evening, Nov. 2.

Coast Guard Sector Humboldt Bay watchstanders were notified at approximately 5:30 p.m. of a pontoon boat with one person aboard stuck in the mud on the north side of Daby Island.

[Daby Island is a small, undeveloped island just east of Woodley Island. – Ed].

The Coast Guard coordinated with Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department personnel and determined an air rescue would be the best course of action.

A Coast Guard helicopter arrived on scene shortly after 7 p.m., and hoisted the stranded boater, who was then taken to Coast Guard Air Station Humboldt Bay. No injuries were reported.


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