Aug 2, 2017

Report of illegal campers ends up in deputies finding a child tied to a tree branch

On 07-27-2017 at approximately 3:20 P.M., Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to an ongoing complaint of transients camping at a piece of property in the 900 block of Highway 20 in Willits, California.

The property owner was the reporting party and was attempting to have illegal campers removed from her parcel.

This situation had been reported to the Sheriff's Office multiple times and was currently under investigation when Deputies were dispatched to the same property on 07-27-2017.

Upon their arrival, Deputies contacted Jeffery Wilson in an encampment on the property. Wilson had previously been warned to clean up and vacate the area on two other dates prior to 07-27-2017.

The Deputies observed that Wilson's son (2 years-old) was tied to a tree branch in the encampment. The rope was tied around the child's wrist and secured to a tree branch. The child was also lacking basic food and water, was only clothed in a diaper, and was exposed to numerous hazards within the encampment.

Upon further examination, Deputies observed several weapons and other dangerous items within the reach of the child that could cause great bodily harm to the child. Based on these findings, the Deputy placed Wilson under arrest for 273a(a) PC [Felony Child Neglect / Abuse]. Wilson was also found to be in possession of a controlled substance in violation of 11377(a) HS.

During this continuing investigation, Deputies contacted the property owner who placed a citizen's arrest on Wilson for 602(o) PC [Trespassing].

Deputies contacted Animal Control who responded to take custody of numerous animals from the encampment. Deputies also requested that a representative from Child Protective Services (CPS) respond to take custody of Wilson's juvenile child.

Wilson was subsequently booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $25,000.00 bail.


  1. Bail isn't set arbitrarily, I think there's an established schedule based on the offence (and other circumstances). The fault (and I think low bail IS a fault) lies with people in Sacramento.
    I read about a court case (a real one) where the security guard at a retail store saw someone shoplift something and head out of the store. The store's policy said 'don't chase' (insurance reasons) but the guard was tired of people shoplifting, so he chased him and when he caught up to the guy the thief attacked him.
    The misdemeanor quickly turned into a solid felony. The thief, convicted, tried to get it reduced since the guard wasn't supposed to chase him so he wasn't acting officially for the store.
    Court ruled that store rules aside, even when the guard left the interior of the store, he was still on the store's business so the felony charges stuck and the thief (since the last crime committed involved physical violence) is going to do the felony time--no Prop 47 reduction.
    Sounds like there was solid law behind the ruling (but I am certain no authority, I just read the things) but it also sounds like some judges don't like Prop 47 anymore that LOE and the general public (the ones who don't break the laws).