Tuesday, October 3, 2023

91-Year-Old Man Identified as Driver of Vehicle That Struck Fort Bragg Man Causing Serious Injuries, Says FBPD


The following is a press release issued by the Fort Bragg Police Department. The information has not been proven in a court of law and any individuals described should be presumed innocent until proven guilty:

On October 12th, 2021, Officers responded to the intersection of Oak Street and Main Street for the report of a traffic collision with injury. On scene, Officers learned from multiple witnesses that 39 year old Brandon Bazor had been struck by vehicle while crossing the crosswalk. The driver who struck Brandon left the scene without stopping. Brandon was transported to the hospital via ambulance and is still recovering from his injuries.

Initial witnesses of the collision provided drastically different descriptions of the suspect vehicle including color, make and model. This is not uncommon during critical incidents and our Officers immediately began pursuing all leads. Over the next five days, Officers would obtain surveillance video from approximately fifteen businesses, organizations and residences, over an approximately three mile stretch of the area. Our Department then began the time-intensive process of piecing the videos together to learn where the suspect vehicle travelled both before and after the collision. As many of the time stamps on the videos were incorrect or off by up to ten minutes, this required Officers to match passing vehicles in different videos several blocks apart in order to continue to follow the suspect vehicle. Further complicating the investigation was that there were three vehicles in the immediate area with similar descriptions, vehicle shapes, and colors. This information combined with the various qualities of surveillance video obtained, and conflicting witness statements, made it difficult to continue to follow the vehicles as they travelled around town.

The original white Subaru Outback this Department suspected of being the vehicle involved in the collision was located on Saturday, October 16th, 2021. The owner of that vehicle was contacted and they fully cooperated with the investigation. This Department was able to completely rule them out as a suspect by Sunday afternoon.

Officers re-directed their efforts with one vehicle eliminated, and was able to identify the suspect vehicle as a silver Chevrolet Bolt. With a more accurate vehicle description, our Department was able to expand its search and follow the vehicle southbound out of Fort Bragg. Additionally, the local dealerships and service stations cooperated with our Department by supplying all records related to Chevrolet Bolt’s being sold or serviced in the area. Using that information, Officers were able to narrow their search to the suspect living somewhere south of Fort Bragg.

On Monday October 18, 2021, Officers located the suspect vehicle south of Fort Bragg and conducted a traffic enforcement stop on the vehicle. During the stop, Officers located damage to the vehicle supporting that it was the suspect vehicle. Upon interviewing the driver of the vehicle, Officers learned that on the day of the collision the vehicle was being driven by the current driver’s 91-year old father. The father was later contacted and interviewed, and Officers were able to utilize the father’s statement to track the vehicle through Fort Bragg to include being involved in the collision. The 91-year old driving the vehicle at the time of the collision denied knowing they were involved in the collision but admitted to being present at the approximate time the collision occurred.

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This investigation will be forwarded to the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office for review for prosecution. The suspect vehicle has been seized as evidence, and the driver’s license of the suspect has been revoked pending an emergency re-evaluation by the Department of Motor Vehicles. The suspect name has been withheld with permission of the victim’s family.

The Fort Bragg Police Department would like to thank the countless businesses, organizations and residents that assisted with their time and efforts in providing the video surveillance used to solve this case. We would also like to thank the public for their time and patience, as we worked through what was a complex and difficult investigation. With an estimated 80% of hit-and-run collisions going unsolved nationwide, it was with the community’s help that our Department was successful in this investigation.

Those wishing to support Brandon Bazor in what is expected to be a costly and difficult recovery may send donations to the Savings Bank of Mendocino County referencing Account #04254355.

Previous Coverage

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    ” Dateline May 2022:

    The City of Fort Bragg police department today announced multiple felony charges, including criminal conspiracy, against a 57-year old Fort Bragg resident and their 91-year old father. It is alleged that after being involved in a felony hit-and-run accident with great bodily injury, the 57-year old, who is accused of operating the vehicle then conspired with their elderly father, with whom the driver lives, to agree to tell the investigating officers that the 91-year old was the operator of the vehicle on the day of the incident, rather than the 57-year old. When asked why the accused would conspire to do so, Fort Bragg police Captain Syringa Deepnmi stated: “That is unclear at this time, however it is speculated that these individuals surmised that the criminal justice system would likely “go easier” on a 91-year old defendant in this case than it would a 57-year old.” When asked whether or not he thought the system would indeed be likely to “go easier” in such a case, Captain Deepnmi merely replied: “wouldn’t you?”

    The above is a work of fiction. Any similarity to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events, is purely coincidental. For now.

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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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