WARNING: This article contains written descriptions of sexual violence and graphic images of the assaulted women are at the bottom of the article underneath the editor’s note. Reader discretion is advised.
62-year-old Arturo Gutierrez is actively being sought by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office as a person of interest in the brutal physical assault of his ex-girlfriend on the night of Thursday, August 18, 2022.
We spoke with Willits resident Christy Mack Wisdom, the sister of Gutierrez’s victim, who told us the man brutally beat her sister for three hours at a home on Bridge Arbor Road in Upper Lake. She was able to push him down, flee, and take refuge in a thicket of poison oak for five hours. Wisdom’s bruised and bloodied sister got the courage to seek help at a neighbor’s and was soon hospitalized, suffering from a fractured eye socket and a concussion.
So far, Gutierrez has successfully eluded authorities and Wisdom’s sister is kept up at night due to night terrors stemming from her fear that the man who beat her will return to victimize her one again.
Arturo Gutierrez is a registered sex offender on California’s Megan Law List. The database indicates his sex offender status stems from a 2012 case of indecent exposure. A systematic assessment known as the Static-99R used by the California Department of Justice to measure the risk of an individual re-offending found Gutierrez scored a 6. This means Guitterez is considered an offender with a ”well above average risk” of re-offending.
Court records and news articles detail the crimes that led to his sex offender registration. Gutierrez hired a 22-year-old, developmentally-delayed, Ukiah man to work at his ranch on Bridge Arbor Road and trim cannabis. The worker damaged Gutierrez’s car. In response Gutierrez “slung his head into the car, beating him with firewood, forcing him to clean a recreational vehicle on his property, whipping him with various items, choking him, [and] forcing certain sexual acts to be performed.”
For a period of two weeks, the beatings and sexual assault continued. Gutierrez locked the victim inside a small shed. The developmentally delayed victim expressed he wanted to leave and Gutierrez told him he would not leave until he had worked off the value of the damaged vehicle. Gutierrez would eventually drive his victim home threatening to kill him if anyone found out about what was done at the ranch. The Ukiah man was treated at an area hospital for the injuries when the origin of them came to light.
Christy Mack Wisdom told us Gutierrez was her and her sister’s childhood friend. After getting out of prison in 2019 for the violence against the Ukiah man, Gutierrez reconnected with the sisters. Wisdom told us, “We didn’t realize all the things he had done in the past. He lied and said it was for other things.”
Before the beating on August 18, Wisdom’s sister and Gutierrez had recently broken up because “he was too possessive and jealous.”
Wisdom believes Gutierrez has not fled the area and could be hiding in the same neighborhood the violence against her sister occurred.
We reached out to Lauren Berlinn, Lake County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer, whose comments were limited to confirming that Gutierrez is sought for his suspected role in the assault of a Lake County woman.
Arturo Gutierrez is a 62-year-old Hispanic male, 5′ 04″ and 130 lbs. His eyes are blue and his hair is graying. Lake County Sheriff’s Office is requesting assistance from the community in locating him. If you have any information as to his whereabouts, call their dispatch at (707)263-2690.
Remember, any charges associated with the recent assault including allegations by Christy Mack Wisdom have not been proven in a court of law and the details of the incident are still being sorted out. In accordance with the legal principle of the presumption of innocence, any individual described should be presumed innocent until proven guilty.
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 10 men experience sexual violence, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner during their lifetimes.
The following are domestic violence resources available in Mendocino County and surrounding areas:
- Mendocino County
- Contact a crisis counselor at Project Sanctuary by calling (707)463-4357.
- Humboldt County
- Call Humboldt Domestic Violence Services at (707)443-6042 or at 1-866-668-6543
- Trinity County
- Contact the Human Response Network at (530)623-2024
- Lake County
- Contact the Lake Family Resource Center community crisis line at 1(888)485-7733.
- Sonoma County
- Contact the YWCA Domestic Violence Hotline at (707)546-1234