When at first you don’t succeed: Good luck followed bad on successive days last week for sheriff’s Deputy Keith Hard and Sgt. Mike Lydon, who are patrol partners. It happened this way: On Wednesday, Nov. 3, at around 10 p.m., responding to a citizen’s call, they found a man drunk and passed-out over the steering wheel of a white van on Madison Street, in Chapmantown. When Hard and Lydon woke the man, he started the van and fled. The officers gave chase but lost him. Later the same day the California Highway Patrol located the empty van crashed into a pole on Dayton Road.
Four hours later, at 1:45 Thursday morning, Hard and Lydon saw a white pick-up traveling eastbound on Lassen Avenue at a high rate of speed. When they tried to pull the driver over, he fled. The chase continued onto El Paso Avenue, East Avenue and Floral. The driver didn’t stop for red lights or stop signs but did finally grind to a halt when he got stuck in a mud hole in a field near Whitewood Avenue.
Hard approached the vehicle and ordered the suspect to turn off the car and get out. When the driver, later identified as Roberto Antonio Nassif, failed to do so and attempted another escape, Hard broke out the driver’s-side window, zapped Nassif with a Taser and took him into custody. He turned out to be the same man they’d chased earlier. The white pickup Nassif had been driving allegedly had been reported stolen. Nassif was arrested on an outstanding felony warrant for burglary, two counts of felony evading, grand theft auto, resisting arrest and driving under the influence. His bail is set at $72,500.
Jesus shot in Oroville: Late at night on Nov. 6, the Butte County Sheriff’s Department received a call of shots fired near Farley Avenue in Oroville. According to the department, Jesus Novoa, 30, was reported as a gunshot victim at Oroville Hospital. Deputies responded to the Monte Vista and Farley Avenue area and found the location where they believed the shooting took place. Deputies found the homeowner, who denied that anything had happened at the house. Checking the home, deputies found no other victims. Novoa was shot in the upper back and was flown to Enloe, where he was expected to recover. The sheriff asks that anyone with information about the incident contact the Sheriff’s Department at 538-7322.
Perp prevarication: Apparently starved for attention and stressed out at school, a 15-year-old girl made up a story about being attacked on a bike path near the Durham High School Nov 4. Butte County sheriff’s deputies, investigating her story, called for help from the California Highway Patrol, a sheriff’s K-9 unit and a sheriff’s helicopter to seek the supposed perpetrator. The description she gave of the attacker was of a dark-skinned white male, about 40 years old with a mustache and dressed in dark sweatpants, a short-sleeved shirt and white shoes. When deputies questioned whether the attack actually occurred, the teen broke down and recanted her story. The girl’s family told sheriff’s deputies that they are going to get counseling for the teen. The Sheriff’s Department noted that false reporting is currently on an upswing and is illegal, expensive, and can endanger personnel responding.