Assault arrest

— Staff reportOctober 15, 2013 

Gwen Lucille Sherrell, 52, of Bass Lake, was arrested Saturday, Oct. 12, after allegedly assaulting a neighbor near the intersection of Bass Lake Road (222) and North Shore Road (432) in Bass Lake.

Her neighbor, Neal Conway, is disabled and depends on a wheelchair because he can not stand for long periods and can only walk two-to-three feet at a time. He had stopped at the mailbox clusters in his car to pick-up his mail before heading into town for some shopping.

Conway said that's when Sherrell, who was carrying a bottle of alcohol and screaming something about planting a bomb, punched him twice in the face and ordered her pit bulls to attack. As Conway attempted to get back to his car, Sherrell allegedly slammed the car door on him, causing a rib injury. Eventually, Conway was able to return home, which was just a few doors down.

According to a sheriff's office report, shortly before 2 p.m., Madera County Sheriff Deputy Gerald Marin responded to the scene, where Sherrell was reportedly blocking traffic on both sides and shouting obscenities. When the deputy tried to detain her, she took off running toward her home, and reportedly gave her dogs a command to attack.

"When one of the dogs was about two feet from the deputy's throat," said Conway, "he had no choice but to shoot," causing a minor injury to the dog's ear.

Sherrell and her dogs then ran inside her home. About an hour later, she was finally taken into custody without further incident, and was transported to Madera County Department of Corrections where she remains behind bars with bail set at $10,000.

Madera County Animal Control was called to the home and took possession of Sherrell's two dogs..

"The restraint and professionalism of the sheriff's department under such difficult circumstances was absolutely remarkable," commented Conway.

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