Bears Have Better Manners

by Bruce McEwen, July 12, 2017

In an empire of addicts tattooed with comic-book doodles, and ruled over by colossally wealthy clowns, one solitary hero still battles wearily for Truth, Justice, and the American Way: Assistant Public Defender Carly Dolan!

In days gone by, before the last of the large wild creatures were exterminated, and now only exist in legend and on the state flag, marauding bears were always a menace to campers, especially those campers who were grilling fresh meat in the great outdoors.

Jones

And so it came to pass that in the last days of the crumbling empire, young Jeremy Jones invaded a campsite on Cow Mountain — just walked right in and sat himself down, took a swig from a jug of flavored whiskey, pointed a knife at the steak one of the campers was eating, and said, “Do you mind,” and stabbed the steak off the man’s plate with his knife, wolfed it down, and proceeded to demand a ride down to the Mill Creek dam.

The camper, Edward Ferro, thought it prudent to give up his meal and also to give the intruder a ride off the mountain and out of his camp. After dropping Mr. Jones off down by the Mill Creek dam, Ferro called 911 to request for a welfare check on Jones, and Deputy Samuel Logan was dispatched to check him out. But it wasn’t long before another call came into dispatch, and this time Jones had reportedly tried to stab someone, so CHP Officer Shelley Wilson was dispatched as well.

Last week in Superior Court, Deputy DA Josh Rosenfeld put Officer Wilson on the stand.

Wilson: “I was on patrol duty June 11th at approximately 22:10 hours [ten minutes after 10pm, civilian time] when I responded to the call from dispatch. I’d been given a description of a white male in dark shirt and shorts with orange socks…”

Jones wouldn’t be hard to spot. The dark shirt was a dead give away.

Wilson: “…I came around a corner [on Mill Creek Road] and passed a gentleman wearing orange socks, about two miles up from Old River Road. I had to turn around and when I did, I observed a white sedan which had just came into view just around the curve in the road.”

Rosenfeld: “Do you see him in court today?”

Wilson: “Yes. That’s him in the orange jumpsuit, seated at defense table.”

Jones cut his eyes away from Officer Wilson’s, his face clouded with odium.

Rosenfeld: “May the record reflect that the witness has identified the defendant?”

Judge John Behnke: “She has.”

Rosenfeld: “What did the defendant do when the car came into view?”

Wilson: “He was bent at the waist looking into the driver’s side window, and the passenger got out and yelled, ‘He tried to stab me!’”

Rosenfeld: “What did you do?”

Wilson: “I got out of my patrol vehicle, and crouching behind the open door, I unholstered my duty weapon, pointed it at him, and ordered him to get on the ground.”

Rosenfeld: “Did he comply?”

Wilson: “After multiple commands he did.”

At this time Deputy Logan drove up and Jones was cuffed and taken into custody.

Mr. Rosenfeld turned the Q&A over to his courtroom opponent, Assistant Public Defender Carly Dolan: “Was the white sedan moving or stopped?”

Wilson: “It was stopped.”

Dolan: “And this is a narrow section of Mill Creek Road, isn’t it?”

Wilson: “Yes.”

Dolan: “And you saw this person with orange socks bent down at the driver’s window?”

Wilson: “Yes.”

Dolan: “What did you do?”

Wilson: “That’s when the sedan drove off a short distance, and the gentleman with the orange socks started walking towards me.”

Dolan: “How far away was he?”

Wilson: “Approximately 15 feet.”

Dolan: “Your headlights illuminated him?”

Wilson: “Yes — and my spotlight.”

Dolan: “Did he have anything in his hands?”

Wilson: “Not that I could see.”

Dolan: “Did you see him throw anything?”

Wilson: “No.”

Dolan: “Was the white car illuminated?”

Wilson: “With my headlights, yes. Then the white vehicle reversed and the two occupants jumped out.”

Dolan: “That’s when you ordered him to the ground?”

Wilson: “Correct.”

Dolan: “Did you notice if he was intoxicated?”

Wilson: “I just ordered him to the ground. As he was reportedly armed, I didn’t want him near me.”

Dolan: “How close did he get?”

Wilson: “Only five or six steps.”

Dolan: “And he was in the middle of the road?”

Wilson: “Yes.”

Dolan: “Were there any bushes within his reach?”

Wilson: “Yes, on the hill side, and on the other side of the roadway, all the way down to the creek.”

Dolan: “After he was arrested did you go back and search?”

Wilson: “Yes.”

Dolan: “Find a knife?”

Wilson: “No.”

Dolan: “How much time had passed by then?”

Wilson: “A half-hour or 45 minutes.”

Dolan: “Nothing further.”

DDA Rosenfeld: “How would you describe the driver of the white sedan?”

Wilson: “Very scared. He was shaking.”

Rosenfeld: “Nothing further.”

The People called Deputy Samuel Logan, and established that he had been on duty on June 11th and had also been dispatched to track down the orange socked marauder at about 9:30. The caller had said he’d given a ride to an intoxicated gentleman [the term “gentleman” is used indiscriminately by law enforcement, and without any noticeable irony] from South Cow Mountain to Mill Creek.

Logan: “I had come back down to meet the CHP officer and just down from the small dam I observed Officer Wilson pointing her pistol at a subject on the ground, in a prone position.”

Rosenfeld: “What, if anything, did you do?”

Logan: “I told him to stay where he was and placed handcuffs on him.”

Rosenfeld: “Did you search him?”

Logan: “I patted him down for weapons.”

Rosenfeld: “Find anything?”

Logan: “No.”

Rosenfeld: “Did you notice anything about him?”

Logan: “He had a strong smell of alcohol, red, watery eyes, and staggered when I led him back to the patrol vehicle.”

Rosenfeld: “Did you contact the driver of the white sedan?”

Logan: “I did. A Mr. David Barnes. I had him meet us down at Talmage Road.”

Rosenfeld: “Anyone else present?”

Logan: “Yes. Officer Wilson.”

Rosenfeld: “What did Mr. Barnes tell you?”

Logan: “He stated he was driving up Mill Creek Road when something — a dirt clod — hit the window. He stopped the vehicle, and he and his passenger, Brian Schat got out to confront him [Jones] and, they asked him what he was doing, and he [Jones] brandished a knife and said, ‘I got something else for you’”

Rosenfeld: “Did Barnes tell you what they did then?”

Logan: “He stated they got back in the vehicle, his window was down and the defendant, Mr. Jones, reached through and tried to stab him, making what Barnes described as a slicing motion.”

Rosenfeld: “Was Mr. Barnes injured?”

Logan: “No, he stated he leaned over to the passenger side to avoid being struck with the knife when simultaneously he said he saw headlights go by and told the gentleman attacking him it was law enforcement and he’d better leave.”

Rosenfeld: “Did either of them [Barnes and Schat] give any details on the knife?”

Logan: “They did not.”

Rosenfeld: “Did you contact the reporting party?”

Logan: “Yes, I did by phone. It was Edward Ferro.”

Rosenfeld: “What did he tell you?”

Logan: “He told me that 30 to 35 minutes before a dark colored SUV had dropped him [Jones] off near the campground and Jones came into their campsite and sat down. None of them knew him, and he [Ferro] described his [Jones’s] behavior as bizarre. He had a bottle of flavored whiskey and was talking almost to himself, about fornicating with females. He asked several times for a ride, and Mr. Ferro eventually decided to oblige, to get him out of their camp.”

Rosenfeld: “Anything else?”

Logan: “He stated they had been eating when he showed up and that he [Ferro] had a steak on his plate. He said the visitor pointed to it with a knife, said, ‘Do you mind?’ and stabbed it off his plate with the knife.”

Rosenfeld: “Did he describe the knife?”

Logan: “He did. He said it was a black handled pocket knife.”

Rosenfeld: “Did he say why he wanted the intruder out of his camp?”

Logan: “He said he gave him a ride because he was fearful of being attacked.”

Rosenfeld: “Nothing further.”

Dolan: “When you arrived Mr. Jones was prone?”

Logan: “Yes.”

Dolan: “And you put the handcuffs on him?”

Logan: “Yes.”

Dolan: “He had trouble walking back to the patrol car?”

Logan: “That’s correct.”

Dolan: “Yet it was a paved road?”

Logan: “Yes.”

Dolan: “His speech was slurred?”

Logan: “Correct.”

Dolan: “Did he tell you he’d been trying to get a ride?”

Logan: “Yes.”

Dolan: “Did he say he’d offered money?”

Logan: “I don’t recall that.”

Dolan: “But he was intoxicated to the point you would have arrested him?”

Logan: “Yes.”

Dolan: “The area this took place in is very rural?”

Logan: “Yes it is.”

Dolan: “And there’s no street lights?”

Logan: “That’s correct.”

Dolan: “Would you agree that it’s not safe for a pedestrian?”

Logan: “Not at that time of night, no, it wouldn’t be.”

Dolan: “Mr. Barnes told you he thought Mr. Jones had thrown something?”

Logan: “Yes.”

Dolan: “And they both got out to confront him?”

Logan: “Yes.”

Dolan: “Mr. Barnes is a large man, isn’t he?”

Logan: “Yes.”

Dolan: “Over 300 pounds?”

Logan: “Yes.”

Dolan: “And well over six feet?”

Logan: “I’m not sure about that.”

Dolan: “And they were going to confront Mr. Jones?”

Logan: “Correct.”

Dolan: “Did Barnes tell you how far the got?”

Logan: “Just past the door.”

Dolan: “That’s when Jones brandished the knife?”

Logan: “Correct.”

Dolan: “They had their headlights directed at Jones?”

Logan: “I don’t recall that.”

Dolan: “And Mr. Schat never saw the knife?”

Logan: “Correct.”

Dolan: “And Jones approached the driver’s door and reached in?”

Logan: “Correct.”

Dolan: “And he tried to stab Barnes?”

Logan: “In actuality, the way he demonstrated it, it looked to me more like a slicing motion.”

Dolan: “Were the lights on in the car?”

Logan: “I don’t believe I asked.”

Dolan: “And Mr. Schat never saw the knife?”

Logan: “From what I recall, yes.”

Dolan: “And no knife was ever found?”

Logan: “Correct.”

Dolan: “After you arrested him was he aggressive or belligerent?”

Logan: “He was behind me in the back, I couldn’t really tell.”

Dolan: “But he was cooperative?”

Logan: “No, not really.”

Dolan: “But he wasn’t kicking windows out?”

Logan: “Correct.”

Dolan: “Nothing further.”

Judge Behnke thought there was enough evidence to hold Jeremy Jones to answer on the assault with a deadly weapon charge, but it also seemed likely that after a month or two in the County Jail without orange socks to match the Jail’s uniform of the day, the case would resolve itself without a prison sentence. Jones will probably get a long probation with state pen time hanging over his head if he resumes drinking flavored whiskey and wandering around at night grabbing dinners off random diner’s plates.

Hewett Sentenced Monday

Hewett

Gage Hewett was sentenced this afternoon for two counts of assault with a deadly weapon and with force likely to cause great bodily harm. The charge resulted from an incident involving two dishwashers from Saucy Restaurant on School Street, Ukiah, across from the Courthouse, who went to empty the kitchen slops at dumpsters behind All In One Towing and Auto Repair at 406 North State Street in Ukiah. Even though an arrangement had been made between the Tow Truck Shop owner and the restaurant owner to off-load trash there, some kind of confrontation occurred when the pearl-divers arrived, and a knife fight ensued. With the prelim having been (perhaps judiciously) waived, nobody but those involved will ever know what, exactly, went down.

Whatever happened, the evidence was persuasive enough that Gage Hewett, on the advice of his two excellent lawyers, Michael Shambrook and Andrew Martinez, pled to a deal that will put him in a Salvation Army recovery facility.

The original prosecuting attorney (who has since gone to work at County Counsel’s Office) Shannon Cox, was on hand. She said she had signed off on the deal, noting that the defendant was drunk out of his mind at the time – a mitigating factor – and that he had no priors. Judge John Behnke cautioned Hewett that any failure to complete the rehab program would result in a prison sentence. “You didn’t understand what they [the dishwashers with the garbage] were doing, nor what you were doing yourself, due to your level of intoxication, but someone could have died, and you could very well have ended up spending the rest of your life in prison. Do you understand?”

Hewett said he did.

Hewett was sentenced to time served — 191 days, actual; 382 by the current standards — and released to the recovery program, with three years of probation hanging over his head, which includes a clause citing the absolute abstention from any form of alcohol.

Restitution for the victims (their medical bills), Ryan Lopez and Riley Seinmann, was reserved, even though Mr. Lopez hadn’t asked for any.

(The monetary onus actually fell on Saucy Restaurant, who had to pay the two employees during their months of convalescence and also hire two others to fill their places, not to mention a spike in Worker’s Compensation Insurance premiums. Seinmann and Lopez have both moved on in their careers as pearl-divers, no doubt seeking safer employment elsewhere.)

One Response to Bears Have Better Manners

  1. Jim Armstrong Reply

    July 14, 2017 at 2:53 pm

    Any one else think “Huh” at the reference
    “pearl diver?”
    Not a common term in my experience.

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