Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Controversy Over Citizens Hogtying Black Suspect in Laytonville Armed Robbery Case

The photograph of the accused robber after being detained by citizens

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.”

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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.

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  1. I cannot figure out why, after they were held up or robbed the first time and were told by those “robbers’ that they would return in 2 days, that the “victims” did not report or have LE there when they said they would return!! Or an I missing something here??

  2. He was detained and rendered unable to do harm to those detaining him.. We, as Americans have the right to do this. He is very lucky he was obviously a bit uncomfortable and his clothing got a little dirt on them but he was detained then MCSO Deputies took Charge of him…took him by the hospital for a medical clearance then on to the jail. The people felt…and rightly so…that he presented a clear and imminent danger to everyone…so prevented further damage being done by him. I see no problem at all with how he was detained until deputies arrived…but some bleeding hearts would say “He ain’t doin’ Nuffin right now so give him a beer and be nice.” Others say “Do not tie him up…use the rope instead to hang him!” I think the last person(s) who have the opportunity to prevent murder and mayhem would be at fault if they did not do so. Just keep the violence in check or you become as bad as the suspect!

  3. I’m sorry, but I’m sick and tired of these liberals wanting the cops to handle everybody with kid gloves that breaks the law. If you don’t want to spend the time don’t do the crime. I think that it was very apropos to put this guy’s picture up on Facebook to maybe tell other people not be doing it themselves. It has nothing to do with the race but the stupid race-baiters want to put that up every time. Well as far as I’m concerned they can kiss my backside. These guys did the right thing

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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFeverhttps://mendofever.com/
I like to think of myself as a reporter for the Average Joe. Journalism has become a craft defined largely by city dwellers on America's coasts. It’s time to take it back. I have been an Emerald Triangle resident since 2006 and this is year ten in Mendocino County. Please, email me at matthewplafever@gmail.com if you know a story that needs to be told.

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