Door Dive Does Downtown Destruction – July 14, 2012
Kevin L. Hoover
PLAZA – If you must plunge headlong through a plate glass window while on LSD, it’s best to do so while a police car is passing by so that medical aid can be swiftly summoned.
That, allegedly, is what Zachary Handley, 18, did Friday, June 29 at 10:43 p.m. with Arcata Exchange’s glass front door.
As a Humboldt State University Police squad car passed the store at Eighth and H streets, an officer saw Handley “dive through the door,” according to Arcata Police Lt. Ryan Peterson.
Two friends of Handley’s told officers that he was under the influence of LSD and possibly in possession of a knife. With that news, UPD contacted APD for agency assistance, and the store’s exits were covered.
Police repeatedly called for the subject to come out of the store, but no response was received. Fortunately, APD Officer Greg Pope happened to be serving as watch commander, and his K-9 companion officer Bronko was with him.
Bronko was released into the store and quickly located Handley, who was zonked out in back on one of the display beds.
Handley had been cut up by the broken glass on his forced entry into the store, left a trail of blood and bled all over the mattress upon which he had come to rest. “It was a bloody mess,“ Peterson said.
Handley was arrested on charges of felony vandalism, resisting arrest, probation violation and possession of a “slungshot.“
Peterson defined a slungshot as “a tool with a weight affixed to the end of a long cord, like a Medieval weapon.” He said Handley was on probation for possession of stolen property and driving without a license.
Arcata Exchange owner Gene Joyce said he was “dazed” when he was called to the bizarre scene, but appreciative of the police efficiency and the supportiveness of both passersby and fellow downtown businesspeople.
He said Kellen Moore of Bon Boniere, another Plaza merchant who suffers window breakage from time to time, offered plywood which she keeps in her vehicle for just such emergencies.
“It’s amazing how many people I know are walking by at one in the morning,” he said.
New Life Services later cleaned up and decontaminated the scene.
The blood-soaked Harmony Gel Mattress had to be disposed of, a $1,000 loss.
Joyce said that ironically, he had just swept the entire block’s sidewalk, only to have his entrance area sprayed with broken glass.
“Wait a minute,” Joyce reflected. “Karma’s not supposed to work that way.”