Crime log — CCC worker arrested |

Crime log — CCC worker arrested

Gregory Crofton, Tahoe Daily Tribune

A member of the California Conservation Corps was arrested for allegedly starting an unlawful fire that ignited a stump on U.S. Forest Service land at Echo Summit.

Derrick Poff, 19, was lighting ants on fire Saturday in a forest area about a half-mile from the Tahoe Center of the CCC before the smoldering stump was reported, said Lake Valley fire Battalion Chief Jeff Michael.

A nearby cabin owner reported smoke at 7:45 p.m. and identified Poff as the man in the area earlier, according to El Dorado County sheriff’s deputies.

Lake Valley firefighters dug into the smoldering stump and hosed it down. Tracker, a police dog handled by Deputy Terry Fleck, picked up Poff’s scent and led deputies to the CCC center.

“Our patrol personnel spotted somebody hiding in a rock outcropping above the CCC,” Fleck said.

Poff continued to hide until deputies warned Tracker would be sent after him. The threat caused him to “immediately surrender.”

The CCC was established in 1976 and has 42 centers throughout the United States. Corps members are 18- to 24-year-olds who volunteer to join the program. Required work includes fire prevention, regreen projects and emergency service.

“No. 1, fire danger is extremely high,” Fleck said. “No. 2, based on who he is employed by, he should have known better.”

In other news:

— A member of the U.S. Air Force was at Washoe Medical Center in serious condition Sunday night with a head injury after he and a friend got in a fight with a group of about six men and women.

Police said Kevin Robertson and Rick Mayta, who serve at Beale Air Force Base in Marysville, Calif., were attacked as they walked home from a bar to La Baer Inn at 4133 Highway 50 about 3:30 a.m. Sunday.

Mayta ran from the group, but Robertson was beaten and left unconscious on the sidewalk at the corner of Poplar and Cedar avenues until a passerby discovered him.

The attackers did not take any money or valuables from Robertson, police said.

“They got into a verbal argument with six to eight Hispanic males and females,” said Sgt. Terry Daniels. “We don’t know the impetus of the argument.”

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the police department at (530) 542-6100.

— A four-car pileup in front of Round Hill Pines Beach, a resort off Highway 50, left two passengers with minor injuries, two drivers with tickets and slowed traffic for about an hour.

A brown Ford van stopped in the eastbound lane to make an illegal left turn across a double-yellow line caused the Friday wreck, said Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Michael Primeaux.

A woman may have been driving the vehicle, but she left for the airport in a nearby car before she could be questioned.

“We don’t know who the driver was, but it is under investigation,” Primeaux said.

In all, 18 people were involved in the incident, which occurred about 12:15 p.m. and involved two rear-end accidents minutes apart.

A blue Chevrolet Suburban stopped behind the brown van before a purple Ford van hit the Suburban and forced it into the brown van. Two minutes later, a green Ford sedan hit the purple van, sending it into the Suburban.

NHP ticketed Arian Parwani, a 35-year-old woman from Danville, Calif., who drove the green sedan, for following too close to traffic. Troopers cited Rohin Saleh, 46, of Danville, driver of the purple van, for not using due care while driving.

Traffic remained two-way after the accident, but NHP limited it to the westbound lane. Three vehicles involved in the wreck sustained moderate damage and were towed from the scene. The road was clear by 1:15 p.m.

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