This last Saturday night, a Fort Bragg man in a drug-induced delirium on Highway 128 near Anderson Valley told a 911 dispatcher he was dying, damaged first responders vehicles when they got on scene, and was finally detained after a California Highway Patrol Officer deployed a taser.
CHP Public Information Officer Olegario Marin told us the initial call regarding the incident was from 43-year-old Jesse Blanton around 10:49 p.m. who told the dispatcher he ingested “bad shrooms” and was “dying.”
Based on this information, a responding CHP officer requested medical emergency personnel respond to the area.
Anderson Valley Fire Chief Andreas Avila told us the first on-site was a volunteer with his agency who found Blanton reportedly lying in the roadway. According to the volunteer, as he watched, Blanton stood up and then rushed his vehicle tearing off a side-view mirror from his car.
An Anderson Valley Fire engine then arrived on the scene, Chief Avila explained, and Blanton’s destruction continued. He ripped one of the engine’s side-view mirrors off and then got his fingers wrapped around a partially rolled-down window, pulled outward, and tore the glass window out of its frame.
Considering the chaos of the situation, the emergency personnel at the scene proceeded to shut down State Route 128 until Blanton could be contained.
CHP’s Officer Olegario Marin told us when CHP’s Officer Root arrived on the scene “Blanton continued to be uncooperative.” He proceeded to “walk in a threatening manner towards Officer Root while ignoring commands to stop.” Hoping to get distance from Blanton, Officer Root began to walk backward. Officer Root eventually decided to deploy the taser when Blanton “lunged at him.” Marin said the taser successfully brought Blanton under control.
Once Blanton was secured, medical personnel on the scene checked him out and he was taken to Adventist Health Ukiah Valley. Afterward, he was booked into the Mendocino County jail.
Reflecting on the incident, Anderson Valley Fire Chief Andreas Avila was reminded that every single call first responders go to can mean “life or death.” He noted, , “Any given call, you can be going up against something you could never imagine.”
Blanton is currently still in the Mendocino County jail facing two felonies: “resisting or threatening officer” and “resisting/delaying police officer”. He also faces two misdemeanors including “use/under influence of controlled substance” and “deface, damage, or destroys property belonging to another.
It must be stated that the charges described have not been proven in a court of law. In accordance with the legal principle of the presumption of innocence, any individual described should be presumed innocent until proven guilty.