Break-in suspect’s bail $.5 M |

Break-in suspect’s bail $.5 M

Bail was set at $500,000 Friday for the home-invasion suspect captured in a Nevada City manhunt Thursday.

Court records show Terry Pettigrew, 22, has a history of arrests for drugs, battering a 17-year-old girl and resisting arrest.

Nevada County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Tom Carrington said Pettigrew was a methamphetamine user, making his the most recent in several high-profile crimes reportedly involving meth users in Nevada County.

Friday, Pettigrew was arraigned in Nevada County Superior Court for a variety of charges stemming from the robbery of Richard R. Mayer near Alta Sierra Tuesday night. The charges are:

– First-degree robbery for allegedly taking money from Mayer.

– Assault with a deadly weapon for reportedly hitting Mayer in the head with a golf club.

– First-degree burglary for the alleged break-in of Mayer’s home.

– Two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm – one a revolver that Mayer said was pointed at him and the other a shotgun police say Pettigrew and another suspect stole during the burglary.

Carrington said the sheriff’s office was recommending a charge of assault with a deadly weapon for Pettigrew’s alleged attempt to hit officers with his car in the Bonanza Market parking lot after they pulled him over Thursday.

Carrington said he personally jumped out of the way of Pettigrew’s Camaro when the suspect suddenly slammed it into reverse and hit a Nevada City police cruiser.

“It damn near knocked me on my butt,” Carrington said. However, the charge was not listed in court records available shortly after the arraignment.

Carrington said authorities are continuing to look for a second suspect in the Mayer home invasion. In addition, Sheriff Keith Royal has said there is evidence that may link Pettigrew to a similar Jan. 8 home-invasion robbery outside of Grass Valley where a pound of medical marijuana was taken.

Pettigrew reportedly set off a five-hour manhunt across the Nevada City area Thursday when he drove away from authorities in Bonanza Market’s Bridge Street parking lot.

He drove down the steep incline of Bridge Street in Nevada City and crashed the Camaro near Deer Creek, where the street dead-ends at a residence. Homeowners Jim and Ginny Knott saw him jump out of the car and flee across the creek about 10:30 a.m.

According to a statement from the sheriff’s office, Pettigrew made it across Highway 49 during the next few hours as police searched for him. Pettigrew knocked on the door of a Nile Street residence about 3 p.m. and asked for help. The homeowner immediately called Nevada City Police.

About 3:30 p.m., Nevada City Mayor Kerry Arnett was working behind the counter of Express Video a short distance away on Railroad Avenue and talking to a customer when he saw a man approaching his open front door.

“All of a sudden, there was three guys around him who said, ‘Stop, put your hands behind your back,’ ” Arnett said. Having heard of the manhunt, Arnett assumed he was watching Pettigrew get arrested.

“It scared the bejesus out of me,” said Arnett, who described the arrested man as wearing wet clothes – possibly from his run through Deer Creek.

Sacramento Street Chevron employee Joleen Smith was looking out the window from her coffee station next door when she saw police cars and officers swarming the parking lot. She walked to the back of the store and opened the door to see Pettigrew spread over the hood of a patrol car and being handcuffed.

“It was pretty interesting for our little town,” she said.

According to the sheriff’s office, plain-clothes officers, who had been tipped about Pettigrew’s Nile Street location, spotted him behind the Chevron station. He tried to run but was blocked off by a patrol car and arrested after a short struggle, the statement said.

According to available court records, Pettigrew has a history of run-ins with the law dating back to Aug. 8, 2000. On that day, a Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital employee spotted him and another youth in the parking lot, apparently trying to break into a car by smashing a window with a rock.

When police arrived, they began searching an adjacent neighborhood and found Pettigrew on a roof. He was arrested for being under the influence of methamphetamine and marijuana. Pettigrew pleaded guilty to the drug charge, receiving 90 days in jail, a $100 fine and probation.

On July 26, 2001, Pettigrew was arrested for assaulting the 17-year-old girl he was living with after Grass Valley officers were called to a domestic dispute. Pettigrew was dragged out of some bushes and refused to be handcuffed, according to court records.

Pettigrew eventually pleaded no contest to battering his girlfriend and resisting arrest. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail, fined $235 and given probation.

On Sept. 27, 2002, Pettigrew was arrested for possession of drugs, given three years’ probation and placed in a drug court program. He was in court on a probation violation in July of 2003, was terminated from the drug court program and sentenced to 75 days in jail.

On Aug. 24, 2003, Pettigrew was arrested for entering the home of his girlfriend without her consent and stealing from her. He pleaded no contest on Sept. 3, 2003, and was sentenced to 70 days in jail, fined $417 and placed on probation.

Just a few months later, he landed back in Wayne Brown Correctional Facility again, facing the current charges.

Nevada County has seen several high-profile crimes allegedly involving meth users in the past year.

Convicted drug user Scott Krause faces several charges including murder from the Jan. 6 auto collision that killed a UPS delivery driver. Krause allegedly carjacked a large truck and fatally rammed it into Drew Reynolds’ delivery van.

Curtiss Williams also was under the influence of meth and amphetamines when he carjacked a taxi in Nevada City in July 2003. He led authorities on a high-speed chase through downtown Truckee before crashing the stolen van and falling or jumping to his death near the Truckee River.

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