Tahoe crime recap: Man lights car on fire after taking LSD and being subjected to ‘satanic magic’
April 26, 2017
A South Lake Tahoe man believed a newly acquainted co-worker was using witchcraft and satanic powers to control his mind, which is why he started a fire in a car he believed belonged to the co-worker. All of this happened after the man took some LSD, according to Lt. Shannon Laney with South Lake Tahoe Police Department.
The 29-year-old man, who was homeless for a period of time recently, was allowed to move back into his parents' home after a friend helped him get a job at a restaurant off of Emerald Bay Road.
Through that job the man met a co-worker who invited him over to his apartment, which was near the restaurant, to hangout. That is where the man was given and took the LSD, and "apparently had a really bad trip," Laney said.
"[The man] says he believes this individual he was partying with … was using witchcraft and satanic magic on him," Laney said while reading from the police report.
The 29-year-old wanted to kill the co-worker who gave him the acid, but instead he settled for burning the co-worker's car. However, there was one problem with that.
"It wasn't even his car; it was some other co-worker's car," Laney said of the vehicle that was damaged. "He thought it was his car and he lit it on fire with a gas can, but it ended up just being some other poor fella who also works [at the restaurant]."
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The man who believed he was under "satanic mind control" reportedly told his mother about the whole incident — all while not knowing it was the wrong person's car. She then called police who arrested the man that same day. He was arrested on a charge of arson with an enhancer for bail purposes and booked into the El Dorado County jail in South Lake Tahoe on April 17. As of Tuesday he was still in custody and total bail was at $90,000, according to jail records.
You look familiar
A South Lake Tahoe man's frequent encounters with local law enforcement ended up blowing his cover when he tried to give another person's name during a traffic stop.
An officer originally pulled the vehicle over on April 11 because it had a "shattered windshield," according to Laney. Upon approaching the vehicle, an officer noticed the passenger was not wearing a seatbelt. When asked for his ID, the man told the officer he didn't have it and gave the officer a name.
The officer, who reportedly recognized the man but could not put a name to the face, was suspicious when the name did not match up with prior police encounters. Dispatch then sent a photo of the named person and officers quickly discerned that the passenger in the vehicle was not who he claimed to be.
Officers began arresting the man and realized he did have his real ID in his wallet. He ended up being a 31-year-old resident of South Lake Tahoe with 19 previous encounters with local law enforcement, according to Laney.
He was arrested for giving another person's identity and making another person liable, meaning the name given was actually that of a real person who could have been head liable had police not recognized the man.
"It's a small town," Laney remarked.
The man was booked into El Dorado County jail on April 11. He has since been released from custody, according to jail records.
A pattern of abuse
A South Lake Tahoe man remained in jail Tuesday nearly two weeks after he repeatedly punched his wife in the face while she held their 2-week-old child.
The 32-year-old man became irate after the wife asked him what time he would be home that evening. The man worked at a club and was known to spend time with a female co-worker after hours. The husband punched the wife in the face while at their home in the 3700 block of Primrose Road. The man punched her so many times that the wife told police officers she started seeing stars, all while she was holding their 2-week-old child. She managed to put the baby down in a bedroom and held out her hand to keep her husband at bay. He then bit his wife's hand.
She stayed in the bedroom until he left for work. She then called police. The couple has been married for four years, during which time there have been about 20 instances of abuse, Laney said the wife told officers.
The couple has only been living in Tahoe for a year and a half and this was the first time the South Lake Tahoe Police Department was contacted, according to Laney. The man was booked into the El Dorado County jail on April 14 on charges of domestic violence and child cruelty. His total bail, according to jail records, is $200,000.
Verbal argument leads to violence
A South Lake Tahoe man was arrested April 11 after choking his girlfriend of several years in the midst of an argument that continued after the couple woke up that morning.
According to Laney, a verbal argument started the night before at the residence in the 1200 block of Glenwood Way. The argument picked back up when the couple woke up around 11 a.m. the next day, gradually escalating to pushing and shoving.
According to the girlfriend, that's when the boyfriend started choking her to the point she couldn't breathe. He let go and she grabbed her phone to call 911 but the boyfriend took the phone from her. Officers ultimately responded to the incomplete call.
Both people involved gave completely different stories, according to Laney. The woman had visible marks on her neck where she claimed to have been choked. The boyfriend, age 38, was booked into the El Dorado County jail on domestic violence and intimidation. He has since been released, according to jail records.
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