Safety and Public Awareness
News reporting arrests, weather warnings, product recalls, and other important information relating to safety and public awareness, are found in this category.
New book details 2011 manhunt for Aaron Bassler-Update Friday, Jan. 25, 2013; Extended audio includedWritten by Bob Froehlich
Update-Friday, Jan. 25, 2013; Extended audio included:
Use the player below to hear an update on this story, including an interview with Jeremy James, long-time friend of Aaron Bassler. An edited portion of this extended interview was aired on KMUD Local News, Jan. 25, 2013, by KMUD News Coordinator, Terri Klemetson.
The original post on the release of the Allman/Sparks book appears below.
On October 1, 2011, Mendocino County Sheriff, Tom Allman, confirmed that murder suspect, Aaron Bassler, had been shot and killed by members of a Sacramento SWAT team while helping in the search for Bassler. Aaron Bassler had been charged with shooting and killing Fort Bragg City Councilman Jere Melo and Land Conservancy worker Matt Coleman and had eluded law enforcement efforts to capture him for 36 days. Bassler was shot as he walked down a logging road six miles outside of Fort Bragg, one-half mile south of Mud Springs near Sherwood Road, less than two miles from his mother's home.
Recently Sheriff Allman announced the release of a book about the Bassler case titled: Out There In The Woods: The Day-by-Day Account of the Extraordinary 36-Day Manhunt for a Double-Murderer on the Northern California Coast. Allman cowrote the book with author Stephen Sparks.
Use the player below to hear an extended interview with Sheriff Allman, beginning with his explanation of how the idea for this book came about. An edited version of this interview, conducted by KMUD News Correspondent Dave Brooksher, aired on the KMUD Local News Friday January 11, 2013.
Browse previous KMUD Web News Posts on the Bassler Case by clicking on the titles below (ordered from oldest to most recent):
Fort Bragg City Councilmember, Jere Melo, murdered in Mendocino
Aaron Bassler now suspect in two murders in Mendocino
$30,000 reward offered for Aaron Bassler
Reward offered for Murder Suspect Aaron Bassler
Aaron Bassler photographed carrying gun
Possible evidence of fugitive Aaron Bassler in NorthSpur area
Murder suspect Aaron Bassler shot and killed
According to information received by KMUD News:
The Humboldt County Animal Shelter is currently over crowded and must reduce its animal population. Some dogs are facing euthanasia and need to go to rescue organizations, either because they are not doing well in the shelter resulting from the chaotic environment (dogs barking, sounds of pressure washer, etc.), or they have workable issues that take more time than an over-crowded shelter can give. Other dogs are current adoptable dogs; however, when the shelter is so over-crowded they are also at risk.
Anyone interested in any of these dogs is encouraged to contact Redwood Pals Rescue using the information provided below. The dogs are in the Humboldt County Animal Shelter. All of these dogs will be current on vaccinations, spayed/neutered and micro-chipped before transport. Redwood Pals Rescue can help with transportation of dogs taken by rescues.
Use the player below to hear more on this story, including an interview with Jim from Redwood Pals Rescue. This piece was aired on Wed., Jan. 9, 2013 by KMUD News Coordinator, Terri Klemetson.
The photos below show two of the dogs available for adoption:
My name is PUMPKIN. I am a spayed female dog. I am mostly white in color, and the kennel staff describe me as a pit bull mix. I'm described as sweet and good-natured and like to walk, fetch or just hang out in the yard. I know that dogs sit in the back when riding in a car and would love to hop in your car and go home with you!
My name is MOON. I am a neutered male dog. I am mostly tricolor in color, and the kennel staff describe me as a beagle.
The Southern Humboldt Technical Rescue Team was mobilized this last weekend, Sunday, Jan 6, 2012, to assist two fishermen whose drift boat hit a rock and partially sunk in the South Fork Eel River by Richardson Grove.
Use the player below to hear more on this incident, including an interview with Diana Totten, former Chief and now the Acting Media Liason for the team. This piece was aired on the KMUD Local News by News Coordinator, Terri Klemetson, on Monday Jan. 7, 2013.
The two photos below were provided by Diana Totten.
The photo below was taken by Jeffrey Freeman.
According to a press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office, dated Dec. 24, 2012:
"On 12-23-2012, approximately 6:00 p.m., the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office was notified of a man on top of the Shop Smart Grocery Store, 3430 Redwood Drive, in Redway. The caller said the man was pouring gasoline on himself and was attempting to light himself on fire. Deputies, California Highway Patrol Officers and fire personnel responded to the scene.
When deputies arrived on scene, they saw a crowd had formed in the parking lot. The suspect identified as Ricardo Guerra, 43 years old from Whitethorn, was standing on the roof with his two dogs. Guerra was holding a one gallon plastic jug filled with gasoline and was pouring it over his body. Deputies made verbal contact with Guerra and attempted to talk him down from the roof. When deputies spoke with Guerra he held up a lighter and then began pouring gasoline down the west wall of the store while screaming he was going to burn the building down.
He then picked up a concrete cinderblock and rocks which he threw from the roof towards the crowd below. He then began pacing back and forth across the roof edge. He then threw the gasoline filled container at the deputy along with rocks. When firefighters attempted to put a ladder up against the building, Guerra came at them with a cinder block over his head. He then threw the cinderblock at the firefighters attempting to strike them with it. Deputies and CHP Officers then accessed the roof using the fire department's ladder while fire personnel stood by with a hose in case Guerra lit himself, the law enforcement officers and the building on fire.
Once the law enforcement officers accessed the roof, Guerra ran at the officers with a jug filled with gasoline and threw gasoline on one of the deputies striking him in the chest and face, before running away from the deputy. Guerra then hung off the roof which was thirty feet above the ground below. The deputy and a CHP Officer grabbed Guerra and brought him back onto the roof."
The press release further states that Guerra allegedly attempted to ignite a lighter that he was holding against a deputy and screamed, “Die, die, die”, and that he attempted to fight with law enforcement officers, but was overpowered by the officers.
The press release concludes by indicating that, "After Guerra was restrained, he was brought to an awaiting ambulance with the assistance of the fire personnel on scene. He was transported to a local hospital. After he was medically cleared he was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where he was booked for felony battery on emergency personnel, attempted arson, obstructing and resisting law enforcement by use of force and violence and being under the influence of a controlled substance. His bail is set at $50,000.00."
The HCSO requests that anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case or related criminal activity call the Sheriffs Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriffs Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.