Some northern Mendocino County community members are celebrating after the last suspect in Saturday’s cannabis robbery near Laytonville, David Lee Edmonds, was apprehended by citizens yesterday afternoon and then taken into custody by Mendocino County Sheriff’s deputies.
Others are left uncomfortable with the image of the man hogtied in the dirt that appeared on social media. In the context of the current awareness of racial inequity, the image stirs a level of discomfort within several community members.
The photo posted on a local social media page and since removed has caused consternation. Mendocino County Sheriff’s Department Public Information Officer Lieutenant Quincy Cromer, “The person depicted in that image appears to be the suspect arrested yesterday according to our investigators. And I can confirm the suspect from yesterday was detained by residents / neighbors prior to the arrival of Sheriff’s Office personnel.”
When asked whether Edmonds was injured during the citizen’s arrest, Lieutenant Cromer said, “I am being told he was taken to the hospital for a medical clearance prior to being booked at the jail.”
Many comments on the initial post celebrated the citizen’s arrest saying, “Didn’t think it would take locals very long to get him! Way to go!”
Other commenters advocated for vigilante justice. One stated, “it would have been better if [he] was hanging by his neck. POS.”
However, another commenter said, “I find this image highly disturbing. I’m all for justice but this image is disturbing.” She added, “Detaining someone is one thing, berating them up and hog tying them is another. I’m very thankful that he is caught and I still feel uncomfortable with this image.”
Edmond’s capture marked the end of a multi-agency law enforcement operation in response to armed men who held three adult males, an adult female, and a juvenile female at gunpoint for several hours on Saturday, September 19.
A press release from MCSO said the crimes began on September 17, 2020 when the armed men arrived at a rural property on the 49000 Block of North Highway 101 near Laytonville demanding money. The robbers discharged their firearm and left the property stealing approximately 20 pounds of marijuana stating they would return in two days.
The men came back on Saturday, September 19 and at least one more shot was fired. Law enforcement was informed and arrived in the area where they eventually arrested the following suspects:
- Tyler Bagliere (28 year-old from San Jose, CA)
- Louis Bagliere (73 year-old from San Jose, CA)
- Lathiaro White (26 year-old from Oakland, CA)
- Anthony Watson (30 year-old from San Jose, CA)
- Christopher Stewert (30 year-old from San Jose, CA)
- Deangelo Villalona (25 year-old from San Jose, CA)
But one suspect, believed to be David Edmonds was still thought to have eluded capture and to be in the area and armed and dangerous. Neighbors were concerned for their safety.
The apprehension of Edmonds is described in the following press release today from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office. The information has not been proven in a court of law and any individuals described should be presumed innocent until proven guilty:
On 9-20-2020 at approximately 12:45 P.M., a Sheriff’s Office deputy received information from citizens in the area of the 50400 block of North Highway 101 near Laytonville, CA. The deputy was informed that citizens in the area located and detained a black male adult fitting the description of the outstanding suspect from 9-19-2020 related to this robbery investigation. Deputies responded and detained the suspect.
Sheriff’s Office detectives responded and following additional investigation, the subject was identified as the outstanding wanted suspect from this ongoing investigation. The suspect was identified as David Lee Edmonds, a 50 year-old male from San Jose. Edmonds was taken to Howard Memorial Hospital for a medical clearance and later transported to the Mendocino County Jail where he was booked for 213(a)(1)(A) PC [Armed Robbery in Concert], 245 PC [Assault with a Deadly Weapon], 273a(a) PC [Felony Child Endangerment], 12022.1 PC [Armed During the Commission of a Felony].
Edmonds was subsequently booked into the Mendocino County Jail to be held in lieu of $500,000 bail.
There are no other outstanding suspects being sought in the Laytonville, CA area relating to this incident. Anyone with information related to this incident is requested to call the Sheriff’s Office Communications Center at 707-463-4086 or can remain anonymous by calling the WeTip system at 800-782-7463.