Spate of calls keeps cops busy |

Spate of calls keeps cops busy

Susan Wood, Tribune staff writer

From the Carson Valley to Kyburz, regional law enforcement calls ran the gamut over the holiday weekend.

Capping an otherwise sedate holiday weekend in comparison to many, the South Lake Tahoe Police Department responded to calls of stolen wood Monday, along with Sunday’s report of a motorcyclist with no helmet taking a spill and a Cold Stone Creamery employee questioned for $401 in missing money.

There was even a bit of a ruckus behind Carrow’s restaurant Sunday night. A South Lake Tahoe man was arrested for starting an illegal fire near the bike trail at 10:41 p.m., police also reported. Officers chased Rodney Stewart Ward for four hours before he ended up in El Dorado County Jail on charges of setting an illegal campfire, being drunk in public and resisting arrest. He was being held with no bail on a probation violation.

There was a scuffle in the air over Minden on Memorial Day. A glider plane was damaged when it descended at 1:40 p.m. in a field outside the airport, Douglas County sheriff’s deputies reported.

Apparently a struggle for control between a student and pilot led to the hard landing, Sgt. Tom Mazzetta reported. He was unable to provide the name of the glider plane operator.

Other than the unusual nature of the airport call, Mazzetta said the holiday weekend was relatively quiet.

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“The parking lots of the casinos were not as full as expected,” he said, further summarizing a weekend filled with domestic situations and fights.

“You start to throw alcohol into the picture, and people go a little nuts,” he said.

On the other side of the hill, the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department discovered the same scenario with at least one whitewater rescue on the Cosumnes River when a motorist tried to drive over the raging stream.

Closer to Tahoe, the busy dive team on Sunday recovered a San Pablo father and son from the rocks they were clutching. They had intended to float in inner tubes down the American River.

Arthur Martinez, on the river with his 10-year-old son, showed hypothermic symptoms, but he was able to function on his own, Lt. Kevin House reported.

Every year, the natural runoff affects the river’s flow, power and shape.

“People don’t realize this is the most dangerous time in the whole year on the rivers,” House said.

— Susan Wood can be reached at (530) 542-8009 or via e-mail at