Picked up because he was "decompensating".....

Graeme Bacque (gbacque@idirect.com)
Sat, 18 Jul 1998 13:36:11 -0700

Officer shoots, kills mentally ill man

Police dog stabbed by man is OK

By GLENDA ANDERSON/The Daily Journal

A Ukiah police officer shot and killed a mentally ill Ukiah man after he
threatened several officers with a knife and stabbed police dog Ido.

Marvin Noble, 45, who had been on a conditional release program related to
a 1981 incident in which he held his wife and children hostage, was
pronounced dead on arrival at Ukiah Valley Medical Center.

Ido underwent surgery for chest wounds and was sent home.

Ido's handler, Cpl. Sean Kaeser, who shot Noble, is on administrative leave
pending an investigation by the Ukiah Police Department, the Mendocino
County District Attorney's Office and the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office.

Police chief John Williams said this morning it's normal procedure for
officers who have shot someone in the line of duty to be put on leave. It's
also normal procedure to have other agencies investigate. Among other
things, outside investigations help avoid potential allegations of a
cover-up, he said.

The incident began at the Foster Freeze on South State Street at around 1
p.m., where Noble was a regular customer.

"He was sitting in here drinking a lemonade," said waitress Hope Cavender.

Three officers arrived and said they wanted to talk to him, she said.

Police were responding to a request from the county mental health
epartment to pick up Noble, diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic, because
he was reportedly "decompensating."

"He said, 'Why do you want to talk to me here?' " said Amy Paz, who also
works at Foster Freeze.

Then he pulled out a knife, described by witnesses as a small hunting
knife, and police told everyone to leave.

A few minutes later, Noble got up and went outside, where police followed
and sprayed him with pepper spray in an unsuccessful effort to stop him,
Paz said.

Noble flailed his arms and covered his eyes with his hands but kept on
walking, witnesses said.

Noble headed north on State Street with police following with Ido on his

They did not have their guns drawn but continually asked Noble to stop,
according to witness Pete Vega.

Near the corner of South State and Gobbi streets, Noble turned into a
doorway, which led to his apartment above the Pet 'Porium.

At that point, Kaeser turned Ido loose, again to try to stop Noble.

Noble stabbed Ido in the stairway and subsequently was shot.

Exactly what happened in the stairway that led to the shooting was not
known this morning.

Ukiah Police Detective Sgt. John McCutcheon, who is conducting the Ukiah
Police Department's investigation, said he had not yet officially
interviewed the officers.

However, he said the officers likely felt they needed to act because Noble
was heading into a building where there were other people and where they
would no longer be in control of the situation.

"The danger increased rapidly by virtue of this guy's path," McCutcheon said.

Carol Lotspeich, who works at Pet 'Porium, said she heard a scuffle in the
stairwell next to the store, then gunshots.

Store owner Bill Casebier said one of his employees went outside to
investigate at that point and saw the bleeding dog come down the stairs,

He also said a social worker had come into the store shortly before the
incident looking for 707 S. State St., which is the address of the
apartments in which Noble lived.

It's not known whether she was looking for Noble or another tenant.

Lotspeich said Noble would occasionally come into the store and "he seemed
like a mellow guy."

Foster Freeze waitress Michelle Friedrich said "he's here every day. He's a
really good customer."

This is the first time Ukiah police can remember anyone being shot by an
officer in the city limits.

It's been at least 20 years, according to Chief Williams.

Cpl. Greg Heitkamp said the department's last close call was in 1986 during
an incident in which an armed man barricaded himself inside a building.

Heitkamp said the man shot at him and he returned fire as he dove for
cover. The man was not injured in that case, he said.

However, Ukiah Police Officer Peter Hoyle - working at the time with the
Mendocino County Narcotics Task Force - shot and injured a man in
Laytonville who was wielding a sword, while attempting to serve a search
warrant in 1992.

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Graeme Bacque
#14909975 on ICQ
*Question and challenge *all* human 'authority'*