Dangerous Confrontation Results In Arrest In Happy Camp
On Thursday, March 7, 2019, at about 4:16 p.m., Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) Deputy Gabe Garrison and a California Highway Patrol (CHP) officer responded to the 1400 block of Curly Jack Road in Happy Camp in response to a dispatch call reporting a man with a gun. The suspect allegedly walked onto a local resident’s property, confronted him, and the citizen reported he could see a gun in the man’s pocket. The man, later identified as Mr. Brett Christopher Rhodes, 32, of Happy Camp, was contacted moments later by the CHP officer and Deputy Garrison in the 1900 block of Curly Jack Road. The suspect was identified and it was determined he had an active felony drug-related arrest warrant. As Deputy Garrison approached the suspect he walked behind a camp trailer and later emerged in the open with his hands in the pockets of a jacket. He was ordered to show his hands and he refused, became increasingly belligerent, and he appeared to be purposely reaching into his pocket attempting to retrieve an unidentified object while held at gunpoint by both peace officers. Mr. Rhodes then ran from the scene towards local residents in the area while pursued by Deputy Garrison and the CHP officer.
He ran onto a driveway and into the yard and then porch of a residence in the 1500 block of Curly Jack Road and was again confronted by both peace officers. He attempted to enter a residence but the door was locked by the occupants as Deputy Garrison positioned himself in an effort to prevent him from presenting a threat to the home owners. Mr. Rhodes refused to comply with orders of the deputy and a Taser device was used to gain his compliance and to take him into custody; however, the Taser deployment had no impact on the suspect. A second Taser deployment also had no effect on Mr. Rhodes. Mr. Rhodes cursed and taunted the deputy and officer and refused to take off his jacket or reveal what was in the one pocket, which Deputy Garrison observed to look like an object forming the shape of a possible handgun. Mr. Rhodes removed a glass pipe from his pocket and advised the deputy and officer it was his “crack pipe.” Deputy Garrison advised SCSO Dispatch to ask the residents in the home to take cover and to stay on the floor in the rear area of their home in the event gunfire ensued, since Mr. Rhodes was suspected to be armed with a handgun.
Mr. Rhodes fled the property and an effort to subdue him was unsuccessful and the CHP officer’s deployment of his Taser device proved ineffective as well. Mr. Rhodes fled towards nearby Happy Camp and later took off his jacket and threw it onto a vehicle belonging to Happy Camp Volunteer Fire Department Chief Erick Haskell. The man took a fighting stance and resisted arrest again when confronted but Deputy Garrison and the CHP officer were able to tackle Rhoads and take him into custody after less than lethal means to stop further resistance proved successful. A realistic-looking BB “facsimile” handgun was found in one of this jacket pockets. He was later transported to Fairchild Medical Center, examined, treated, and released for booking at the Siskiyou County Jail in Yreka.
Mr. Rhoads was booked for felony arrest warrants and for other law violations, including resisting, obstructing, and delaying a peace officer in the line of duty, possession of drug paraphernalia, and for being under the influence of a controlled substance.
According to Sheriff Jon Lopey, “This was a high risk call for Deputy Garrison the CHP officer. The facsimile BB gun looked like a real handgun and the suspects aggressive, belligerent, and resistant actions endangered the safety of the involved peace officers and nearby residents. These courageous peace officers avoided using deadly force in a situation that was tense, uncertain, and rapidly evolving – Both used non-lethal and lesser means of force to subdue Mr. Rhodes, which is very commendable under the difficult circumstances they encountered. The dispatch report received by SCSO and CHP revealed the suspect was armed with what the reporting party thought was a real handgun. Mr. Rhodes’ refusal to surrender the facsimile firearm, coupled with his other unlawful actions, could have led to a very tragic outcome. The responsible and measured response from Deputy Garrison and the CHP officer prevented that tragedy from happening and protected citizens threatened by Mr. Rhode’s unlawful and violent behavior. This case is still under investigation and anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact the SCSO 24-hour Dispatch Center at (530) 841-2900.”