Man charged with arson, assaulting an officer has Feb. 22 court date

  The man charged with assaulting a police officer and then starting a fire in the jail is scheduled to appear in Plumas County Superior Court in Quincy on Feb. 22.

  Richard Allen Edmiston, 26, of Quincy, will also have a new public defender. Attorney Robert Zernich was appointed to represent Edmiston on Friday, Feb. 8, after attorney Bill Abramson declared a conflict of interest.

  Edmiston faces multiple felony charges stemming from a Feb. 2 altercation with his neighbor, Sheriff’s Detective Chris Hendrickson, in front of Hendrickson’s East Quincy home.

  When he was booked into the Plumas County Jail, officers did not discover Edmiston was carrying matches.

  After he was alone, Edmiston reportedly took off his clothes and used the matches to set them on fire.

  Charges against Edmiston include felony arson, felony battery of a peace officer, three counts of resisting an executive officer by force and public intoxication.

  He remains jailed on $100,000 bail.

  According to the incident report, the incident began just after 10 p.m. on a Saturday.

  Hendrickson said he was off duty and had just put his son to bed when he heard a “bang” on the front of his house.

  He said he went out to his front porch and noticed a person at the edge of his yard staring at him.

  Hendrickson said he went inside to get a flashlight and when he returned the person had moved away, but was taunting him from a distance.

  “The only thing I heard was ‘come out,’” Hendrickson wrote in his report.

  He said he went back into the house, told his wife to call 911, grabbed his “duty weapon” and a brighter flashlight.

  Hendrickson said he went back outside and began yelling for the person to stop throwing something at his house.

  According to Hendrickson, the two men met in the middle of Katherine Street. Edmiston reportedly asked Hendrickson “What’s the problem?”

  “He seemed agitated,” Hendrickson said.

  Hendrickson said he addressed Edmiston by his first name. And Edmiston responded that he hadn’t seen anyone throwing things at Hendrickson’s house.

  Hendrickson said he started to back up as Edmiston continued to approach him. Edmiston told Hendrickson to quit shining his flashlight in his face.

  According to Hendrickson’s report, “Edmiston’s speech was very slurred, he was unsteady and reeked of alcohol.”

  Hendrickson said he told Edmiston “I’m Chris, your neighbor” several times. “I’m a deputy sheriff.”

  Edmiston then held up his fists and lunged at Hendrickson several times, according to the report.

  “He was walking around me, pumping his fists and telling me ‘come on’ several times,” Hendrickson said. The deputy yelled at Edmiston to “get on the ground.”

  When it appeared Edmiston was about to flee the scene, Hendrickson said he put his gun in his pocket and continued to instruct Edmiston to get on the ground.

  Edmiston fled and Hendrickson said he tackled him and wrapped his legs around his midsection. He said Edmiston was swinging his fists at him but wasn’t able to land a blow.

  He said that is when Sgt. Mike Meisenheimer and Deputy Jacob Vickrey arrived and eventually managed to place the resisting Edmiston in handcuffs.

  Hendrickson said Edmiston was likely throwing Hendrickson’s son’s basketball against the house. He said he found the ball, which had been left outside, and saw marks on a screen and window as if something had hit it.

  “I have known Edmiston for many years,” Hendrickson wrote. “I have counseled him on several occasions while I was working (as a deputy and detective).”

  He said that as a deputy and detective he has responded to calls associated with Edmiston “several times in the last 10 years.”

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