Man attempts to spray gas on officer, evades capture in Nevada County |

Man attempts to spray gas on officer, evades capture in Nevada County

Christopher Rosacker
Staff Writer

An unidentified man remained on the loose after he allegedly attempted to douse a Nevada County Sheriff's deputy with gasoline before fleeing into the Alta Sierra area.

Despite a two-hour manhunt Monday evening involving a California Highway Patrol helicopter circling above Alta Sierra, law officials were unable to locate the man, described as being 6 feet tall, medium build, in his mid-40s, white, with a shaved head and tattoos all over his body.

"We haven't located him and he hasn't been identified yet either," said Sheriff's Sgt. Guy Selleck.

The manhunt stems from a sheriff's deputy, who was driving an unmarked agency vehicle southbound on Highway 49 Monday around 5 p.m. when he noticed a reckless driver speed by him among the oncoming traffic, Selleck said. The officer pursued the reckless driver, who had pulled into the Alta Sierra Station to fill up on gasoline.

When the deputy ran the license plate of the blue truck, it did not match the plate attached, Selleck said, likely meaning the license plate had been stolen.

As the officer, wearing a sheriff's uniform, approached the driver at the fuel pump, the man allegedly turned the flowing nozzle toward the deputy in an attempt to douse him with gasoline, Selleck said.

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The officer pushed the driver away before gasoline got on him, Selleck said.

The man jumped in his truck and sped off, Selleck said, but didn't make it far.

A short distance away on Alta Sierra Drive, the officer discovered the vehicle abandoned, evidently due to a loss of fuel. Its driver was nowhere to be seen and is suspected to have fled on foot, Selleck said.

The officer remained with the vehicles until backup arrived, and the search continued.

"He had a good head- start," Selleck said.

The suspect was seen near Crotty Court headed toward Sky Pines Road at approximately 5:37 p.m., Monday, according to the sheriff's activity logs. Later callers described a man matching that description headed toward Welch Lane from Sky Pines Road at around 7:34 p.m., according to the logs.

With the help of the CHP helicopter, officers searched until 7 p.m., Selleck said.

While the vehicle was not reported as stolen, sheriff's officials were following up leads Tuesday, including making contact with its owner, who is not believed to be the man who evaded capture Monday, Selleck said.

"We're going to conduct a follow-up investigation," Selleck said, adding that as of press time Tuesday, no new developments had occurred.

Anyone with any information on the suspect is encouraged to contact the sheriff's office at 530-265-7880.

To contact Staff Writer Christopher Rosacker, email or call 530-477-4236.

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