Sunday, 19 May 2024

Officials continue search for man who pulled gun in Tuesday incident

CLEARLAKE OAKS – Law enforcement continues to look for a man who pulled a handgun on another man and eventually was the focus of a lengthy pursuit on Tuesday.

Lake County Sheriff's deputies and California Highway Patrol pursued William Cressey on land and from the air – specifically, with the help of a CHP helicopter – on Tuesday, as Lake County News has reported.

Capt. James Bauman of the Lake County Sheriff's Office said that Forestville resident Philip Wheeler drove up to a work site on top of Round Mountain and happened upon two males at his storage trailer.

When Wheeler pulled up, one of the men ran off and the other – who officials believe was Cressey – got in his black Ford Explorer and drove toward Wheeler, Bauman said.

Wheeler tried to block Cressey's path but he drove around him and Wheeler followed him down the mountain until Cressey reportedly pulled out a handgun and pointed it at him, Bauman said.

Bauman said Wheeler then backed off, called 911 on his cell phone, and followed the Explorer at a distance until it turned onto Red Rock Road. Wheeler waited there for law enforcement.

A sheriff's deputy and a CHP officer met Wheeler and as they started up a dirt road to look for the Explorer, a dirt bike came down the road towards them, said Bauman. The rider matched the description of the driver of the Explorer so they turned and pursued the bike.

The dirt bike was able to evade sheriff's and CHP cruisers, said Bauman. During the subsequent search of the area, one of the deputies determined Cressey had been staying at a residence on Red Rock Road and apparently switched from the Explorer to a dirt bike he had at the house which he used to get away.

Bauman said deputies eventually found the dirt bike but never located Cressey, who they determined had a warrant for parole violation out of Colorado.

CHP ground units and one of their aircraft assisted in the search, which lasted from about 1:30 p.m. to about 6 p.m., Bauman said.

Cressey is described as a white male, blonde hair and blue eyes, 5 feet 7 inches in height with a thin build.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts should call the Lake County Sheriff's Office, 262-4200.


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