Sunday, June 4, 2023

Mendocino County Sheriff Identifies Suspect in Yesterday’s Motorcycle Pursuit and Asks Public for Help in Locating Him


The following is a press released issued by 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:

The Deputy observed a motorcycle with expired registration tabs traveling on North State Street. The Deputy attempted to stop the subject on the motorcycle for the vehicle code violation.

The motorcycle failed to yield and continued northbound on North State Street. The motorcycle accelerated to speeds in excess of 90 miles per hour. The motorcyclist began weaving into oncoming traffic and driving erratically. The motorcyclist turned northwest onto West Road (Redwood Valley) and continued at a high rate of speed.

A Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant made the decision to discontinue the pursuit. The Deputies deactivated emergency lights and sirens, but remained in the area.

Deputies observed the motorcycle turn onto Gabriel Lane; which the Deputies knew to be a dead end street. The Deputies responded to this area and noticed the motorcyclist left the motorcycle at the end of Gabriel Lane and fled on foot.

At this time Deputies were able to see the motorcyclist from a distance due to the open terrain.

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The Deputies initiated a foot pursuit and observed the motorcyclist drop a backpack. The backpack was recovered and found to contain a loaded handgun.

Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office personnel from the Patrol Division, Detective Division, County of Mendocino Marijuana Enforcement Unit, Mendocino Major Crimes Task Force and the California Highway Patrol searched the Redwood Valley area for the motorcyclist, who was described as being a white male adult, wearing a torn gray shirt, blue jeans and red shoes.

The reverse 911 protocol was activated for the area of West Road at Zahadoom Way to West Road at Rancheria Road east to the river.

Mendocino Sheriff’s Office Detectives utilized an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UVA) to search for the motorcyclist, with negative results.

Citizens in the area later provided “game cam” footage of the suspect running through properties.

The Deputies were able to make a preliminary identification of the motorcyclist as being Mark Nielsen (see attached photograph).

Sheriff’s Office personnel continued searching into the night time hours, with negative results.

Anyone who knows the current whereabouts of Nielsen is urged to contact the Sheriff’s Office by calling 707-463-4086.

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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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