More details emerged in a fight involving a gun, a machete and a box wrench at Bowman Lake Friday night that ended with two men in county jail.
At approximately 10:39 p.m., a caller from Bowman Lake Campground reported that a man at a neighboring campsite who had been shooting off fireworks had been verbally abusive to the caller and his fellow campers.
The victims reportedly had been camping with their children at a campsite that was close to one being shared by Adam Edward Hale, 30, of Grass Valley, and David James Piland, 25, of Nevada City.
“They became concerned because the men were drinking, shooting off fireworks and shooting off guns,” said Nevada County Sheriff Keith Royal. “They went over and asked them to cool it.”
According to Royal, Hale and Piland said the dispute arose because they were being unfairly targeted for setting off fireworks.
The victims left, then went back to the two men’s campsite to write down their license plate numbers, Royal said. They “met with resistance” and left again, Royal said.
About one and a half hours later, the two men went to the victims’ campsite because, they told deputies, they wanted to “tone it down and make peace.”
Hale allegedly was armed with a gun in his waistband and was carrying a machete; Piland reportedly had a box wrench.
Hale told deputies he was carrying weapons “for intimidation,” Royal said.
The campers began arguing, and Hale reportedly pulled out the gun, then held it to one of the victim’s head and said he was going to kill him. A struggle reportedly ensued, during which Hale fired a shot into the air and two shots into the dirt. At some point, Piland allegedly hit one of the victims in the back with the wrench.
The two suspects then left the scene and one of the victims drove eight miles on a quad to call for help due to having no cell phone reception.
The two men were arrested without incident.
Hale was booked into county jail on suspicion of child endangerment, assault with a firearm, willful discharge of a firearm and making threats; he was released on $35,000 bail. Piland was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, booked and released on $25,000 bail.
To contact City Editor Liz Kellar, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4229.