Monday, Mar 22, 2010
On the morning of March 11th, two park maintenance employees reported a suspicious man hiding in the woods and pointing a gun at them as they drove past on Medicine Lake Road. The man’s vehicle was parked on the side of the road with the driver’s side door and trunk wide open. Rangers Terry Harris and Travis Hall responded and passed a Honda Civic matching the description of the suspect vehicle. The rangers turned around and pursued. Before they could catch up, the driver had completed a U-turn and was heading back towards them. He came to a quick stop directly in front of the rangers’ vehicle, but refused to comply with the rangers’ subsequent commands. He then began a sequence of vehicle maneuvers which resulted in an armed standoff. When he was finally taken into custody, he was found to have a loaded pistol holstered on his waist belt, with 30 additional rounds of ammo around his waist, and to be wearing a ballistic vest. While on scene, the rangers were informed by local law enforcement and the DEA that the man was currently under investigation for threats he made against officers and federal agents via the internet and that he was believed to be capable of carrying out his threats. The man was transported to a Tulelake PD holding cell to sort out further details with the DEA and ATF agents. While being held, he was able to make his escape by using a Bible and jamming it into the cell door. Hall saw him bolt from the cell and into a locked storage room. A Tulelake officer, a Siskiyou County deputy and Hall gained entry into the room and had a brief struggle with the man. Hall employed three drive stuns to get the man under control and back into his cell. On the afternoon of March 11th, the man was transported by state officers from Tulelake to Sacramento, California. The transport time was approximately five hours. When they arrived in Sacramento, the state officers discovered that the man was on the verge of destroying and nearly escaping from the ASP cuffs that had been used during transport. On the following day, the DEA, ATF, and Tulelake PD conducted a search of the man’s home and recovered several handguns, thousands of rounds of ammunition, another ballistic vest, several marijuana plants, and a computer. The man is a convicted felon and is being held in Sacramento on multiple charges. Many agencies continue to be involved in the case, including the National Park Service, DEA, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, Tulelake PD, the Siskiyou County Sherriff’s Office, and the US Attorney’s Office. This story has received local and national media attention due to the severe threats made against local and federal agents.