Monday, Apr 25, 2011
On April 22nd, park dispatch received a report of a man and woman with a dog along South Shore Drive. The reporting party thought that the pair might be homeless and camping in the area. Ranger Chris Mengel investigated and found Elizabeth Riley and her dog along a roadside. Mengel ran law enforcement checks on her and determined that she was wanted on several warrants and that she was always accompanied by her husband, Hank Riley, who was wanted on a warrant for assaulting a peace officer, plus six other warrants in three counties for drug and traffic violations. As chief ranger Jim Richardson was arriving to back him up, Hank Riley walked into the brush from the scene. Rather than pursuing him, rangers called for additional help from Shasta County deputies, who arrived shortly thereafter. A tactical team of deputies, SWAT team members and rangers began a search from South Shore Drive downhill, ending at Whiskeytown Lake. Richardson asked the operator of a Coast Guard auxiliary boat on safety patrol on the lake to take him out on the lake to search from there. The boat arrived on scene just as Elizabeth Riley stepped out onto the lakeshore and was ordered by two Shasta County officers at gunpoint to lie on the ground. As these officers moved in to secure Riley, a Shasta County police dog bit her. The dog handler was trying to pull the dog off when a pistol discharged, striking Shasta County officer Nolan Guiducci in the face. Richardson landed in the boat and handcuffed and moved Riley away from the injured officer. Additional officers and Coast Guard Auxiliary volunteers rendered first aid to Guiducci and transported him by boat to a patrol car and eventually to an ambulance. Elizabeth Riley was also transported by boat and taken to the Shasta County jail, where she remains. A large scale manhunt for Hank Riley continued with the help of California Highway Patrol officers, a CHP plane and helicopter, Redding police officers, California Fish and Game officers, and CALFIRE officers. Despite finding a campsite and multiple clues in the area, they were unable to locate Riley. Rangers closed and signed this area of the park. The closure came during the park’s waterfall week, the busiest spring week of the year. Rangers and a special agent are continuing to patrol this area in an effort to find Riley. The tactical search was conducted under a joint command, with Shasta County leading the operation. The shooting investigation was led by Redding Police Department, which implemented a pre-planned officer-involved shooting protocol. Guiducci suffered non-life threatening wounds to his face and ear and is doing well at a local hospital. Hank Riley remains at large at this time.