Monday, June 27, 2022
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After Bystander Records a Fort Bragg Medical Emergency, Chief of Police Asks Public to ‘Practice Prudence’ When Witnessing an Incident


The following is a press release issued by the Fort Bragg Police Department and authored by Police Chief John Naulty:

[Stock image from]

On September 1, 2021, at approximately 5:04 pm, Officers were alerted of a medical emergency call. Officers will respond to medical emergency calls alongside the paramedics and fire department.

Fort Bragg Police Captain O’Neal was the first to arrive on the scene and immediately identified the victim was experiencing cardiac arrest. Captain O’Neal took the necessary steps and began CPR. The second unit of officers arrived, Officer Ferris and Beak, and proceeded with CPR until the Mendocino Coast Ambulance arrived on scene. I want to commend Captain O’Neal, Officer Ferris, and Officer Beak for their prompt response and for relying on their training.

I would also like to acknowledge; an unidentified bystander was recording the response to the medical emergency and generated emotional distress from the victim’s family. In addition, the non-consensual recording of the medical emergency forced the medical personnel to take additional time to create a private environment, which increased the severity of the situation.

Even though the officers and medical personnel exhibited heroic actions, I want to encourage the public to practice prudence when witnessing an emergency call. I understand the impact of recording for accountability; however, Fort Bragg Police Officers have mandatory body cameras capturing every moment of every call.

Update September 2, 2021
We have learned this morning that the victim was transferred to an unknown out of area hospital last evening and is still listed in critical condition.


  1. Our Chief’s name is John Naulty, not McNaulty. He’s asking for prudence and empathy for a situation, not asking for anything inappropriate. As a former law enforcement officer and daughter of a newspaper editor there is a fine balance of the public’s right to know and the right to privacy of the individuals involved.

  2. That’s really sad.

    Sincerest apologies to the family and the patient experiencing a medical emergency. I’m Praying for you this morning.

    Also, thank you! to the police and emergency medical personnel. We sure do appreciate you when you rush in to save the day! God Bless You!

    Hopefully this rebuke will help people develop some phone etiquette.

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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFever
Picking Brains—Baring Bones—Paying it By Ears: I'm a reporter in Mendocino County and the Founder of MendoFever.

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