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‘Tis the Halloween Season for Crazies

It is mildly irritating that in Mendocino Officialdom there’s a pervasive pretense that the homeless population, especially the criminal elements of the homeless “community,” come from elsewhere; this is patently untrue: 80% are locals. 

And so when a homeless man recently attacked two people near the Ukiah Natural Foods Co-op, the public was informed by law enforcement that the defendant was some kind of transient, not a homeboy. 

Another embarrassment to the community is that a large percentage of crazy people inhabit Mendoland, and that these “mentally incompetent” people need to be “restored” to competency so they can understand what they’ve been charged with and thereby participate in their own defense. 

This was the case with the defendant in the attack near the Co-op.

The defendant, David Maupin, contrary to statements in the police press release, is not “a transient.” His mother lives in Ukiah and he is widely known and feared by many long-time locals. He is feared not only for his scary looks—he has long, frizzled reddish-blond hair that looks like it’s been combed with an eggbeater and his nobody home eyes stare out with maniacal intensity. But he is best-known by many, your trusty correspondent included, for making death threats. Small wonder then, that someone in a Mercedes tried to run him down outside the Co-op several weeks ago.


An eye-witness said that the Mercedes went over the curb and briefly into the oncoming traffic lane before speeding away. The witness followed the Mercedes and got the license plate number, though this information has not yet been made public. 

David Maupin, however, immediately after the incident with the Mercedes, attacked Ukiah local Natalie Hamburg with a large brick, striking her in the head and knocking her to the ground. Natalie Hamburg is the granddaughter of former County Supervisor Dan Hamburg (daughter of Hamburg’s son Matt).

The young woman had just gotten off work at the Co-op and was walking home when Maupin attacked her. She was lying in the roadway and Maupin had just raised his brick — one of those large blocks of reddish masonry used for landscaping at Chase Bank — for the fatal blow when James Hockenberry, having just exited the nearby Rite-Aid drugstore, yelled, “Hey, knock it off!”

Mr. Hockenberry then ran to Ms. Hamburg’s aid and was struck down himself by a blow to the side of his head that scraped his ear completely off. 

Hockenberry’s noble intervention allowed Natalie time to get up and run. Hockenberry then took another blow, this one in the back, breaking a rib near his shoulder, so he was now down himself in the roadway where Natalie had been attacked. 

Maupin’s attack on Hockenberry was witnessed by José Espinoza, who was at the Wells Fargo Bank when he heard a female’s terrified scream. Mr. Espinoza looked up in time to see Hockenberry struck down with what he called a brick or rock. Espinoza said it was “reddish” in color. Later on, Officer Max Brazill of the Ukiah Police Department photographed three bricks or rocks in the area with blood on them lying in the roadway and on the sidewalk. 

This account of the incident, of course, is a distillation of the testimony given at the preliminary hearing last Wednesday by Ukiah Police officers Cooper and Philips. A gentleman fitting Mr. Hockenberry’s description was present in court but he did not take the stand, nor did Ms. Hamburg or Mr. Espinoza; their testimony won’t be necessary until/unless the case goes to trial. Officer Cooper had interviewed Natalie Hamburg and described her injuries as a cut on the top of her head that was bleeding (and still bleeding, sometime later, when Cooper found her) through her hair. 

Sergeant Phillips interviewed James Hockenberry at the scene. Hockenberry was holding a wad of bloody paper towels to the side of his head. When he took it away, his ear was “hanging by a thread.” Officer Max Brazill took photos of the injuries and the bloody bricks and rocks left in the roadway. A trip to the emergency room later revealed that Hockenberry had also suffered a broken rib.

David Maupin was represented by Public Defender Jeffery Aaron. District Attorney David Eyster prosecuted the case. The evidence given by the police officers was sufficient, Judge John Behnke ruled, to hold the defendant to answer on the two counts of assault with a deadly weapon: for assaulting first Ms. Hamburg, then her rescuer, Mr. Hockenberry. The special allegations of great bodily injury and mayhem held up despite defense attorney Aaron’s attempts to get them both reduced. Mr. Aaron said that since Hockenberry’s ear was “still attached” (though only by a thread) it didn’t qualify as mayhem. Judge Behnke read the statute and concluded that “the picture speaks for itself,” meaning the photo Officer Brazill took of Hockenberry’s ear, which subsequently had been sewn back on. As to great bodily injury, the x-ray of the broken rib was sufficient evidence to hold Maupin for trial.

David Maupin, due to his criminal record, cannot legally purchase an AR-15 assault rifle, and we can be grateful for that, otherwise I suspect Ukiah would have made national news last April 21st as the scene of yet another mass shooting by a homicidal maniac. And I’ve been told by a reliable source–another person whose life Maupin threatened–that he [Maupin] walked into Pacific Outfitters and–had he had enough money–would have bought a cross-bow. Surely (thanks be to the Deity), you can’t fire a cross-bow on full-auto like an assault rifle; but still, it’s a relief to know David Maupin won’t be getting out of jail soon. 

Keep in mind, that if you want to scare the bejesus out of some locals this Halloween, forget all those scary ghouls from the movies like Nightmare on Elm Street and dress up like David Maupin, a man undoubtedly known to the Ukiah area’s helping professionals, but a man who never should have been on the streets who attacked two people unknown to him for no reason whatsoever.

One Comment

  1. Volt Voort October 6, 2019

    Regarding the full auto crossbow, indeed there is such a thing; a tribute to old-fashioned yankee ingenuity. You may find it on youtube by typing in “A Dream Came True: Homemade Full Auto Crossbow.” I didn’t watch the entire video, just enough to satisfy myself that the device is operational. I don’t know if such a thing is being mongered on the open market. If one is required to craft it at home, I reckon it’s beyond the capability of the atavistic nullity profiled above.

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