Wednesday, 24 April 2024

REGIONAL: Two men assault taxi driver

FORT BRAGG – A Ukiah man has been arrested for allegedly taking part in the beating last Saturday of a Fort Bragg taxi cab driver.


Norman White, 29, was taken into custody by Mendocino County Sheriff's deputies late Friday not long after the alleged attack, according to Capt. Kurt Smallcomb.


Smallcomb said deputies responded to the 31000 block of Simpson Lane in Fort Bragg shortly after 10:30 p.m. Saturday on the report of an assault and battery.


When they arrived on scene the deputies spoke to 51-year-old Dan Goekler, owner and operator of a local taxi cab company, who said two unknown males had assaulted and battered him after he picked them up, Smallcomb said.


Goekler told deputies that he had picked up the two subjects from a party on Mitchell Creek Drive, and as he was driving them into the city one of the men – later identified as White – struck him in the head with both hands simultaneously, according to Smallcomb.


After the attack began Goekler stopped and got out of the vehicle and pulled White out, at which point White and the other suspect attacked and physically assaulted Goekler repeatedly with their hands and feet while Goekler was on the ground, Smallcomb said. White allegedly kicked Goekler in the head repeatedly.


Smallcomb said Goekler sustained serious bodily injury as a result of the assault.


Deputies searched the area and located White concealed in the brush near the location of the assault. Smallcomb said Goekler identified White as one of the two suspects who had physically assaulted him and White was arrested.


Deputies continued to search the area but were unable to locate the second suspect, Smallcomb said. That suspect has not yet been positively identified.


White was transported to the Mendocino County Jail where he was booked on charges of assault with a deadly weapon and assault and battery, with bail set at $30,000.00, Smallcomb said.


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