Jul 27, 2016
Man who claimed many armed subjects were forcibly entering his residence arrested instead for alleged charges of being under the influence and imagining home invaders
On 07-26-2016, at about 1:14 AM, Mendocino County Sheriff Deputies were dispatched to a residence located in the 4000 block of Albion Ridge 'J' Rd., Albion, regarding a report of many armed subjects forcibly entering the residence and possibly committing a robbery. The reporting party, Laura Doty, reported hearing several gunshots in another room of the residence and said that her husband, Douglas Higginbotham, had armed himself with a shotgun.
Upon arrival Deputies heard the report of gunfire coming from the residence as they approached. Deputies eventually made contact with the occupants of the residence including Douglas Higginbotham, who promptly dropped the shotgun when ordered to do so. Deputies established that no one was injured, no one had forced entry, or attempted to force entry, into the residence and that no one else was at the property or in the residence other than the occupants, (Higginbotham, Doty, and their grandchildren, ages 2 and 4 years).
The ensuing investigation revealed that Higginbotham and Doty were both under the influence of a controlled substance. Higginbotham imagined armed invaders in the home, told Doty to call 911, and began shooting through the interior walls and doors with the shotgun to repel the imagined invaders. Higginbotham and Doty brought the children into a room, where Higginbotham fired more shots toward the door and through the walls to other rooms of the house. No persons were injured by Higginbotham's random shots.
Deputies arrested Douglas Higginbotham for 273(a) PC [Child Endangerment], 246 PC [Discharge of Firearms in an Inhabited Dwelling], and 11550(e) H&S [Possession of a firearm while being Under the Influence of a Controlled Substance]. Higginbotham was lodged at the Mendocino County jail to be held in lieu of $100,000.00 bail.
Laura Doty was not arrested, but deputies have requested that the Mendocino County District Attorney file a charge of a violation of 11550(a) H&S [Recent use of Controlled Substance]. The grandchildren were taken into protective custody by Mendocino County Child Protective Services.