‘A deliberate act’
Soon after he reportedly used a stolen truck to kill a UPS driver in a head-on collision Tuesday, Scott Krause told investigators his actions were intentional, Grass Valley Police Chief John Foster said Friday.
“Our investigators originally suspected that this was a deliberate act the night of the incident,” Foster said in a written statement.
Krause, 37, was arraigned in Nevada County Superior Court Friday on murder, burglary, battery and carjacking charges in connection with a fatal crash that killed a UPS delivery driver.
As the suspect was moved from a hospital room to Wayne Brown Correctional Facility on Friday, Foster outlined his department’s reasons for not arresting Krause when police were called to check on the convicted drug user early Tuesday morning.
That evening, Krause reportedly went on to steal a large commercial truck from a gas station and ram it into a UPS delivery van on Brunswick Road between Idaho Maryland Road and Sutton Way, killing Drew Reynolds, 34, of Grass Valley.
Just before midnight Monday, Grass Valley police received a call from the owner of a West Main Street home where Krause’s ex-wife, Tracie, lives. Tracie Krause requested police make a welfare check on Scott Krause, according to a release issued Friday by Foster.
Three Grass Valley officers, including a sergeant, responded to the residence and contacted Krause and found “no objective symptoms that (Scott) Krause was under the influence of drugs or alcohol,” Foster said. “(He) was responsive to questions, did not act rude or paranoid, and was cooperative with officers.”
Under terms of his probation, Krause was searched for drugs or drug paraphernalia, but police found none, Foster said. Scott Krause was drinking and was told to pour out his alcohol, “in lieu of being issued a citation at the scene,” Foster said. No prohibition on drinking alcohol was included in Scott Krause’s probation terms.
Krause previously had been convicted on several drug- and theft-related charges. Most recently, he was arrested Aug. 21, 2003, when Nevada County Sheriff’s officers raided a home and found methamphetamines and paraphernalia. He pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor drug charge.
Foster said his officers questioned Scott Krause for more than 30 minutes before telling him to move on or face a trespassing charge early Tuesday. There was no credible reason to arrest Scott Krause at the time, Foster said Friday.
“He wasn’t found under the influence, which is why he wasn’t arrested,” Foster said. “There was no crime committed.”
Tracie Krause did not ask officers to arrest her ex-husband when they arrived at her door, Foster said. However, Tracie Krause herself told reporters the day after the crash that she thought the officers should have arrested her ex-husband.
She said her ex-husband showed up on her doorstep and was acting paranoid and talking about people wanting to kill him. She said Scott Krause told her he had not slept in five days.
Tracie Krause could not be reached at her home or by telephone Friday.
About 17 hours after his early-morning run-in with police, Scott Krause allegedly carjacked a Sierra Tile and Stone truck used in the fatal 5:30 p.m. crash. Krause was apparently traveling east on Brunswick Road when he crossed into the westbound lanes, colliding with Reynolds’ van. Reynolds died at the scene.
“It was apparent by his actions that he wanted to harm himself and others,” Foster said.
Foster said he issued a press release Friday to help counter criticism of his department’s actions.
The chief said the debate over whether the department could have arrested Scott Krause before the fatal crash takes the focus away from what Foster said was a horrific crime that ended the life of a husband and father.
Scott Krause was booked into Wayne Brown Correctional Facility at 11:39 a.m. Friday after being released from Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital. He was being held without bail.
Friends and UPS co-workers said they’ll remember Reynolds for his laid-back ways and his unflappable spirit.
“When the storms blew through, he was always there to calm them,” said Brian Stephenson, a UPS driver who worked with Reynolds for 12 years. Stephenson described the mood at the UPS facility on Charles Drive as one of “shock and unbelief.”
Kevin Heilaman met Reynolds when both were teenagers, playing fast pitch softball more than 20 years ago.
Reynolds was always the mellow player, Heilaman said, refusing to engage in on-field scuffles.
Once, during a bench-clearing brawl, Reynolds and Heilaman watched as both teams stood, blow-for-blow on the field. The two friends never left the pine.
“Me and Drew were like, ‘whatever,'” Heilaman said. The two buddies later played slow pitch softball for Weaver Auto and the Main Street Bar and Grill.
Reynolds was on his way to help a driver on his route when the accident happened, Heilaman said. It was just his way, as Reynolds was always asking to help build Heilaman’s house or help other colleagues with whatever they needed.
“He’s definitely a class act,” Heilaman said.
Both Heilaman and Stephenson said Friday they did not want to second-guess the police department about its handling of Krause.
“We’re not in their shoes, and we can’t make judgment calls,” Stephenson said. “I’m not going to condemn them.”
Heilaman said he prefers to remember the barbecues and good times. He said the outpouring of community support will keep him going for a while.
“It makes me proud to be a part of this community,” Heilaman said.
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