On September 14th, 2023

State Park Rangers Detain Armed Suicidal Man at Usal Beach

“We thank our California State Parks rangers who work to protect the public as visitors to the parks enjoy all that California has to offer.  These rangers are brave peace officers who confront dangerous individuals who pose a threat to others.  They know these large parks like homeowners know their neighborhoods.  They are a tremendous asset to public safety and California’s large state parks system.” – CSLEA President Alan Barcelona

MENDOCINO COUNTY – On September 12, 2023, California State Park Rangers detained a man who was armed with a handgun at Usal Beach.  At 1:40 in the afternoon, the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office responded to reports that a suicidal man, identified as James Padgett, 42, of Fort Bragg, was armed with a handgun in the area of Usal Beach, within Sinkyone Wilderness State Park.  Padgett was speaking with a crisis line operator and admitted to locking a 72-year-old man in a shipping container at a residence in Westport, prior to arriving at Usal Beach.

Deputies responded to the residence on Seaview Drive, located and unlocked the shipping container, rescuing the elderly victim who had numerous traumatic injuries all over his body.  The victim told deputies that Padgett had arrived at the residence and the victim confronted him.  The victim attempted to summon law enforcement and was beaten to the ground with a lever-action rifle and then dragged and locked inside the shipping container.

Deputies obtained evidence from the location and then began responding to the area of Usal Beach to contact Padgett.

While deputies were responding to Usal Beach, California State Parks Rangers contacted and detained Padgett without incident. Padgett was armed with a handgun at the beach when contacted and detained by State Parks rangers.  Deputies interviewed Padgett and subsequently arrested him for the following offenses:

207 PC - Kidnapping

236 PC - False Imprisonment

368 PC - Elder Abuse

245 PC - Assault with a Deadly Weapon

136 PC - Witness Intimidation

Padgett was booked into Mendocino County Jail, where he was to be held in lieu of $100,000 bail.

The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office expressed gratitude to its public safety partners including the rangers from California State Parks.



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