Sheriff News for 12/19/12 Edition

December 13, 2012 

Man rescued after falling 50 feet at Lewis Creek Trail

A Fresno man is recovering from injuries sustained Sunday after falling roughly 50 feet from the Lewis Creek Trail located off Highway 41 above Oakhurst.

Larry Ross Teixeira, 38, was hiking with friends when he reportedly lost his footing, tumbled down the side of the trail and ended up wedged between moss covered boulders.

In order to reach him, rescue crews had to cross the frigid and fast moving water from the other side of the creek via ladder, inching their way to dry land. Once there, they then had to hike 100 feet up the hillside, find a tree sturdy enough to handle an extraction via rope.

Initially they hoped to use CHP Air Ops to assist, but again based on the location of the victim, they had no choice but to attempt to haul him out by rope.

The operation required the skills of the Madera County Sheriff's Technical Rope Team to execute what is called a "high angle" rescue. Six men had to rappel 100 feet down and extract the victim while attached to ropes. Once they reached him they placed him in a stokes litter and vertically pulled him to safety. The mission took five hours to complete.

The call for help came in shortly before 3 p.m. Sunday afternoon. The victim was transported to an area hospital by ambulance.

Twenty-four people assisted in the rescue. They included: Madera County Sheriff's Search & Rescue, Madera County Sheriff's Technical Rope Team, California Highway Patrol, U.S. Forest Service, Cal Fire, Madera County Fire and Sierra Ambulance.

Mountain man linked to several burglaries behind bars

An Oakhurst man linked to several burglaries in the Oakhurst area is behind bars. Deputies say video surveillance helped them identify the thief.

John William Cotey, 30, was captured Monday morning outside a gas station in Oakhurst.

Already on parole, Cotey has been linked to a number of burglaries including a nursery in Oakhurst where video surveillance captured him removing two surveillance cameras from the complex.

Inside Coty's vehicle, deputies seized approximately 47 grams of marijuana, six grams of crystal methamphetamine, three hydrocodone pills, numerous other drug paraphernalia, as well as suspected burglary tools.

The stolen surveillance cameras along with numerous other stolen items, including a checkbook from the Subway sandwich shop in Oakhurst, were recovered from a storage unit and returned to the victims.

Based on information deputies have gathered, they do not believe Cotey acted alone. Anyone who may have information is asked to call either the Madera County Sheriff's Office, (559) 675-7770 or CRIME STOPPERS at 498-STOP.

Cotey, now facing numerous felony charges, remains jailed on a parole hold.

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