530 Crime Watch: Two police dogs used to capture man in standoff

·5 min read

A man who police said has a history of harassing and terrorizing his neighbors was arrested Monday following a more than two-hour standoff.

Redding police needed two K-9s to capture 46-year-old Jeffrey Ekwall.

Officers went to the 1000 block of Pine Street about 11:20 a.m. Monday after neighbors said Ekwall brandished a knife and threatened to kill them.

Ekwall barricaded himself inside his apartment as officers tried to negotiate with him for over two hours, police said.

“Ekwall refused to come out, instead yelling vulgarities and throwing items around the inside of the residence, banging a solid object against the wall, yelling, “I’m not going to jail,” police said on Facebook.

The man also refused to surrender after the Redding Police Crisis Intervention Response Team showed up.

Police obtained an arrest warrant against Ekwall and broke through the apartment’s barricaded front door. Officers also got through a barricaded upstairs bedroom and set a police K-9 loose.

Ekwall jumped out of a second-story window and was prevented from running away by a second police dog outside, officers said.

Ekwall was booked into Shasta County Jail on suspicion of making criminal terrorist threats, brandishing a deadly weapon and resisting arrest.

— Mike Chapman

Domestic violence suspect arrested after pursuit

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Redding police said a man who battered his girlfriend in a domestic violence case was arrested following a pursuit into Tehama County.

Officers responded to the call inside an apartment about 10 a.m. Sunday in the 1900 block of East Street.

The boyfriend, identified as 21-year-old Joe Wilkerson, had left before police arrived.

Another officer on patrol saw Wilkerson get back into his car when he returned to the apartment about 12:20 p.m., police said.

Wilkerson didn’t yield to police as he drove through the Garden Tract neighborhood. Wilkerson continued east on Highway 44 from the Park Marina Drive on-ramp and police started a pursuit that continued onto southbound Interstate 5.

Police said they stopped their pursuit when Wilkerson’s “erratic driving became too much of a danger to himself, the officers, and other motorists as he began passing vehicles on the shoulder of I-5 and weaving through motorists in an attempt to evade police.”

The California Highway Patrol took over the chase one mile north of Bowman Road into Tehama County.

At one point, Wilkerson stopped in the center median of I-5 and ran away. The CHP caught him and turned him over to Redding police.

He was booked into Shasta County Jail on suspicion of felony domestic violence for willfully inflicting corporal injury and several charges related to the vehicle pursuit, police said.

— Mike Chapman

Redding man pleads guilty to serial arson charges in Shasta-Trinity National Forest

Monday, May 23, 2022

A 41-year-old Redding man pleaded guilty on Monday to charges of being a serial arsonist in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest.

According to court documents, Eric Michael Smith set at least 11 fires on forest land between June 2019 and July 2020. Authorities said that he used hard-to-detect ignition sources, such as cigarette lighters and handheld torches, to ignite fires in remote locations of the national forest.

Smith was arrested in late July 2020.

Many of the fires Smith admitted to setting ignited in the early morning hours, making them harder to detect and fight. One of the fires he set in July 2020 "burned so close to Interstate 5 near Turntable Bay Road that first responders closed a portion of the highway to prevent the blaze from burning numerous vehicles and residences on the other side of the interstate," said the U.S. attorney's release.

Smith is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller on Aug. 22. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine.

The U.S. Forest Service and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection investigated the case.

— Michele Chandler

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Redding man arrested after group home disturbance

Redding police K-9 Otto apprehended a registered arson offender who caused a disturbance at a group home near Gold and West streets on Friday, May 20, 2022.
Redding police K-9 Otto apprehended a registered arson offender who caused a disturbance at a group home near Gold and West streets on Friday, May 20, 2022.

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Police temporarily blocked traffic in the area of Gold and West streets on Friday afternoon during a standoff between a man and Redding officers.

Police said a registered arson offender, identified as 38-year-old Mikhail Kyung Peterson of Redding, caused a disturbance at a group home about 5:15 p.m. Friday.

The man assaulted a staff member with a metal rod and then armed himself with a kitchen knife, police said on Facebook.

Officers were able to safely evacuate the group home's staff and other residents. Peterson walked onto a second-story balcony and threw objects at police outside, with one heavy glass decoration narrowing missing an officer, police said.

"Peterson also threw lit cigarettes outside, which posed a fire hazard due to 'red flag' conditions," police said.

Police negotiators arrived in an attempt to de-escalate the situation accompanied by the Redding Police Critical Incident Response Team.

Peterson eventually taken into custody using police K-9 Otto.

After being medically cleared for a dog bite, Peterson was booked into Shasta County Jail for violation of his parole and on suspicion of two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, resisting arrest, brandishing a weapon and vandalism.

— Mike Chapman

Reward offered in burglary of Stihl landscaping tools

Friday, May 13, 2022

Shasta County Secret Witness is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information about a burglary near the Shasta County juvenile hall on Radio Lane on May 6.

The Redding Police Department shared this photo on Facebook that was taken May 6, 2022, after a burglary of landscaping equipment near juvenile hall on Radio Lane. Shasta County Secret Witness if offering a reward in connection to the theft.
The Redding Police Department shared this photo on Facebook that was taken May 6, 2022, after a burglary of landscaping equipment near juvenile hall on Radio Lane. Shasta County Secret Witness if offering a reward in connection to the theft.

The reward is for information that leads to the arrest and/or conviction of the thief or thieves. Secret Witness takes anonymous tips at 530-243-2319 or go to www.scsecretwitness.com.

Redding police say two men were seen in the area after the burglary took place. Police posted a photo on Facebook of the two men.

Taken in the burglary were three chainsaws, two weed trimmers, two hand-held leaf blowers and one hedge trimmer. All the brands were Stihl.

— Mike Chapman

This article originally appeared on Redding Record Searchlight: Two police dogs used to capture man in standoff