Last week’s column recounted how Fort Bragg police officer Craig Guydan shot a dog on December 21st, the only officer involved shooting in the coastal town last year. Guydan also drew his gun on a group of Fort Bragg teens playing football by streetlight on January 7th of this year. Despite the two gun incidents, Fort Bragg Police Chief Scott Mayberry still believes Guydan to be a “good officer.”
An internal investigative report, conducted by Fort Bragg Police Lt. John Naulty and two other officers, on the dog shooting was still pending as of this writing. However, in a March 1st interview Mayberry may have preempted the investigative board when he stated that the December 21st incident was a “justified shooting.”
The dog shooting took place during a seven-eight second period when the front door at 501 Walnut Street in Fort Bragg was opened and the allegedly retreating Officer Guydan fired on the thirty-five pound animal. Guydan had responded to an “excessive noise” complaint at the residence. The door opening and shooting prompted two other dogs to run loose for quite some time that night. The larger of the two dogs belongs to Jacqueline Audet, aka “Pixie” or “Goldilocks,” for her thick dreadlocked blonde hair.
Personages who might make Ms. Audet’s usual street life pale by comparison had been frequent guests or sometime residents of 501 Walnut for the better part of two years prior to the shooting. The house has recently been cleaned out by members of the Orsi family. On February 27th, Fort Bragg Fire Chief Steve Orsi told me he had taken four pickup loads to the dump just that day in an effort to clean up the residence’s interior. His son, Jeromy Orsi, plans to rent the premises as both a place of business and residence. Neighbors were gladdened at this result. Several spoke of living in trepidation at what might happen next at 501 Walnut. One of the closest neighbors described seeing brief transactions that appeared to be drug deals. The property’s owner apparently lives out of state. Approximately two years ago he rented to an individual who seems to have turned the locale into a combination flophouse and one-stop illegal drugstore. Jeremy Orsi has been spending recent nights inside 501 Walnut Street in an effort to safeguard the premises from drug users who still come calling and pounding on the doors, walls, and windows at all hours.
The terrier-mix dog that was shot has seemingly recovered. Ms. Audet’s larger dog was found and last seen sitting calmly beside her outside Rite-Aid, while strangers of every ilk walked by within arm’s reach. The 501 Walnut neighbors, some with small children, are happy that the house is being cleaned up, but there are other citizens of Fort Bragg who are not happy that the only officer involved shooting in town last year was that of a medium sized dog. They are displeased that Officer Guydan failed to choose his taser over his gun. They are unhappy that he failed to wait for backup when approaching a house with at least a handful of people in it, just as he subsequently failed to wait for backup in the football incident. There are some who claim that Guydan shot the dog on the front doorstep of 501 Walnut, not on the street, facing away from the home, as Guydan reports.
Chief Mayberry says that “Transitional Threat” training will be a renewed priority for his police force. The undermanned FBPD continues to run officers on twelve hour shifts, including the chief and lieutenant.