Mountain man lucky to be alive
Some years back Sheriff John Anderson held a press conference highlighting the dangers of openly carrying replica weapons. "They're built to look like the real thing," Anderson said, and warned about the potential for deadly consequences when brandishing them in public.
"There may come a day, he said, when one of our deputies is in a situation, fearing for his life and the safety of the public and in making a split second decision may have to discharge his firearm."
Sheriff Anderson's fear came to life last week in a busy Taco Bell parking lot in Oakhurst.
Sergeant Matt Mollet responded to the shopping center located off Highway 49 with reports of a man carrying a gun.
When he arrived, the suspect was still carrying what appeared to be a semi-automatic.
Edwin Rogers, 58, was taken into custody in the parking lot but not before he was ordered twice to drop his weapon.
Rogers ignored the first order, but finally dropped it after Sergeant Mollet's second command, followed by "drop it or I shoot."
Only when the gun was recovered did Sergeant Mollet realize that it was an imitation.
Rogers was booked into Madera County Department of Corrections on exhibiting a firearm and open public display of an imitation firearm. His bail was set at $1,000. He is scheduled to appear in court May 22.
Child abduction attempted in Raymond Monday
Sheriff John Anderson is issuing an alert to the public to be on the lookout for a man driving a burgundy colored Mercedes, who tried to abduct a child waiting for his school bus in Raymond Monday morning.
According to reports, the little boy was approached by a stranger as he waited for his bus near Road 613.
At about 8 a.m., a man described as Hispanic about 45 to 55 years old driving a 70s model burgundy 4-door Mercedes stopped by the boy and told the child to get into his car. The child refused and ran home.
The description was verified by an adult who saw the same vehicle and driver in the area. The adult told deputies that neither the car nor the driver looked familiar. The driver was last seen near Road 613 and Road 800 -- heading toward Mariposa County.
If anyone has any information about this vehicle or the driver they are urged to call the Madera County Sheriff's Office, (559) 675-7770.
Coarsegold Facebook stalker Jeffry P. Bennett arrested
Jeffry P. Bennett, 22, was arrested at his Coarsegold home at about 8:30 a.m. April 17 by the Mariposa County Sheriff's Office's Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement unit, assisted by the Madera County Sheriff's Office, on an arrest warrant for the felony sex crimes.
Mariposa County Sheriff's Office was notified that local young teen girls, ages 12 to 15, were being approached on Facebook by a person appearing to be an adult male. Reportedly, once conversation started, the male would immediately entice the juvenile girls to communicate with him by instant message or text, where he would initiate sexually explicit related messages. During the investigation, the Mariposa sexual assault unit's investigation collected about 551 text messages and one graphic photograph sent by the suspect male.
Bennett was booked into the Mariposa County Adult Detention Facility for distributing harmful material to a minor in an attempt to seduce her. He is being held on a $75,000 bail.
Mariposa County Sheriff Doug Binnewies said it's crucial that parents educate themselves about social media and communication with their children regarding its potential threats. Binnewies also reminded young people to be wary.