Community helps police catch suspect

Jamie Gentner

The Weed Police Department is lauding the help of the community – especially a 12-year-old boy – in a recent assault case that took place at Charlie Byrd Park in Weed.

Robert Emmet Mills was arrested about an hour after an incident at the park on Thursday, Aug. 5.

According to Sgt. Jim Cummings, an argument erupted between Mills and another adult male around 9 p.m. Aug. 5. The argument concerned money – for what officers are not certain yet.

Mills allegedly pulled a knife out and made a small cut on the victim’s abdomen. He also held a knife to the victim’s throat, held him down on the ground and threatened to hurt or kill him.

The victim was able to escape and use someone’s phone to call police, who responded to the scene around 9:12 p.m., Cummings said. The victim was later transported by ambulance to Mercy Medical Center and released.

The victim’s injuries were not major, Cummings said.

“He was cut, but he was more scared than anything else,” Cummings said. “He thought he was going to die.”

Mills drove away before officers arrived, and because he lives outside of the department’s jurisdiction, Cummings said, not much was known about him.

“Nobody really knew anything about this guy,” Cummings said. “We had seen him driving around, but since he doesn’t live in Weed, none of our officers had ever dealt with him.”

Several witnesses stayed to give statements, but it was a 12-year-old boy who eventually led police to Mills.

Cummings could not release the name of the juvenile, but he said he is the type of boy who waves at officers when they pass by and who “has a good heart.”

The boy had seen the truck Mills drove to the park that day, and he described to officers where he had seen the truck parked in the past.

Officers followed those leads and found the truck. Because the leads led them to a home outside their jurisdiction, officers then obtained a search warrant by phone, notified the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Department of their findings and took Mills into custody within an hour.

Mills was arraigned in Siskiyou County Superior Court on Friday, Aug. 6, charged with assault with a deadly weapon other than a firearm or GBI, threatening a crime with intent to terrorize and false imprisonment.

He pled not guilty and was held on $25,000 bail.

Mills will appear again in court on Thursday, Aug. 19 for a preliminary hearing.

Cummings said officers have a “real good idea” what happened during the incident based on witnesses that have already come forward, but he expects more information will surface in the next few weeks.

He added that he thinks officers made good time on this case, but it would have been difficult without the community’s help.

“A lot of times we get calls and nobody saw anything, especially in some parts of the city; nobody wants to assist the police,” Cummings said. “Because of the community’s involvement in this case, we were able to locate the suspect, prevent him from hurting anyone else and make an arrest. The juvenile ... was kind of the one who broke the case ... but the entire community over there was ready and willing to assist us. It was definitely refreshing.”