The following is a press release issued by the Ukiah 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 11/21/22 at approximately 0914 hours, UPD Dispatch received a report of a possible carjacking behind Staples, 1225 Airport Park Blvd. Officers responded to the scene, spoke to the victim and learned that an unknown white male adult approached the 78-year-old female victim and demanded a ride to the hospital. The victim refused and tried to shut the vehicle door. The suspect placed an aluminum baseball bat into the door jam, preventing her from closing the door. The suspect forcibly pulled her out of the vehicle by her upper arm. The suspect got into the vehicle and fled the scene. The vehicle was described as a 2012 white Dodge Avenger.
While Officers were searching the area, a citizen called CHP Dispatch to report a suspicious vehicle driving erratically on northbound Hwy. 101. The vehicle had fresh body damage and was last seen turning onto McNab Ranch Rd. The description of this vehicle matched the description of the stolen vehicle and CHP Dispatch forwarded the caller to UPD Dispatch.
Officers responded to McNab Ranch Rd. and spoke to several witnesses who reported seeing a white vehicle with rear bumper damage on McNab Ranch Rd. Officers continued to search the McNab Ranch area when a UPD Detective located the stolen vehicle at Bus McGall Rd. and Young Creek Rd. The Detective was able to take the suspect into custody without incident.
The suspect was identified as 57-year-old Erik Norton Smith, a transient from Ukiah. He was transported to AHUV for medical care and then transported to the Mendocino County Jail where he was booked for violations of 215 PC, carjacking and 368 PC, elder abuse. Smith also had a misdemeanor warrant for his arrest for failure to appear on a separate case.
Ukiah PD would like to thank the California Highway Patrol and the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Department for their assistance in this case. As always, UPD’s mission is to make Ukiah as safe a place as possible. If you would like to know more about crime in your neighborhood, you can sign up for telephone, cellphone, and email notifications by clicking the Nixle button on our website; http://www.ukiahpolice.com.