Blood on Broad St. | TheUnion.com
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Blood on Broad St.

Five hours after he punched through a window of Nevada City’s landmark National Hotel, a 26-year-Grass Valley man died at a Roseville hospital early Thursday.

Joseph Lyle Harris was found on a Pine Street porch with a serious cut to a bicep, authorities said. He was taken by helicopter to Sutter Roseville Medical Center at midnight.

Nevada City Police first were called to a report of vandalism at the hotel on Broad Street, said Nevada County Coroner Cathy Valceschini. An officer saw the broken window and followed a trail of blood to a building on the 200 block of Pine Street, where Harris apparently had walked to find help.



National Hotel manager Thomas Coleman said he believed Harris was drunk and broke the window of the hotel’s front door in a fit of rage.

“All he had to do was pull on the door to open it,” Coleman said. “He lost a tremendous amount of blood. He obviously cut an artery.”




Harris was taken by ambulance to the Rood Administrative Center, where a Calstar helicopter took him to Sutter Roseville.

The cause of death had not been declared Thursday, pending toxicology reports.

Since 1998, Harris has been booked at Wayne Brown Correctional Facility 15 times, most recently on Sept. 20, according to jail records. The charges usually involved alcohol or not complying with court orders.

Harris was arrested in August 2001 on suspicion of resisting arrest and being under the influence of a controlled substance.

In that instance, he reportedly was seen walking naked in the middle of La Barr Meadows Road and tried to punch a Grass Valley Police officer who was directing him to the side of the road. At the time, according to The Union archives, he was suspected of being under the influence of PCP.


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