Man Enticed, Beaten, Robbed, Stripped; Suspects Found With Smack, Speed, Gun – November 19, 2012
HCSO Press Release
HUMBOLDT – On Friday, Nov. 16 at about 11:20 a.m. the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a call from a Blue Lake Casino Security regarding a possible armed robbery that had occurred to one of their customers. A deputy met with a 24-year-old male victim, who resides in the Garberville area. The victim told the deputies he was at the Blue Lake Casino at approximately 6 a.m. gambling, when the two suspects approached and sat down on gambling machines on either side of him. The suspects began talking with him and acted like they knew him. During their conversation, they offered him alcohol at their vehicle outside the Casino since the Casino was not serving alcohol at that time of the morning.
The victim agreed to go outside with them to have an alcoholic drink after he cashed out his winnings. The suspects agreed to meet him outside. When the victim exited the Casino the one of the suspects, along with a third suspect were standing by the front door. A small red newer four door vehicle pulled up when he exited the Casino. The victim got into the front seat of the car, and there were two males in the back seat. One of the males he met at the Casino was driving the car; one of the males he met was now in the back seat along with a third male he just met. The driver, later identified as suspect Donald Lester, told the victim the Casino had cameras in the parking lot so they had to leave so they would not get into trouble drinking there. He suggested they drive to Cher-Ae Heights Casino to see what was going on up there. The victim agreed and thought that was a good idea. The suspects told the victim they would bring him back to Blue Lake Casino.
When they arrived in the Westhaven area the suspects exited U.S. Highway 101 and pulled off the road off Scenic Drive. The driver, Lester, got out of the vehicle, walked around it, opened the passenger side door, and shoved a semi automatic handgun into the victim’s mouth, while the victim was still seated. Meantime the suspect seated behind the victim began beating him in the throat while repeatedly telling him to empty his pockets. The suspects then yanked the victim out of the vehicle and threw him on the ground. The suspects made the victim remove all his clothing other than his underwear, pointed the handgun at him and told him to walk to the nearby cliffs. The suspects ordered the victim not to look at them while doing so. The victim was convinced the suspects were going to kill him, so he made a run for it.
The victim hid in the area until he believed the suspects were gone. The victim then walked back up the trail, found some articles of clothing and then contacted a citizen parked in a nearby parking lot. The citizen gave the victim a ride back to Blue Lake Casino where the victim notified Casino Security and law enforcement.
Blue Lake Casino Security assisted the Sheriff’s Office with identifying the suspect vehicle and plate utilizing their security system. Deputies and a Detective located the vehicle parked in the 4400 Block of Excelsior Road, Eureka. Deputies located two of the suspects at a residence, Donald Lee Lester, 27, from Arcata, and Zachary Michael Davis, 25, from Field’s Landing. Lester was located by the deputies hiding in the attic of the residence.
Deputies conducted a probation search on the residence and located some of the victim’s stolen property, a black semi-auto handgun, marked Smith and Wesson, that shot simulated ammunition, 23 grams of Tar Heroin, 7 grams of suspected methamphetamine, syringes, packaging material, and 19 grams of dried marijuana.