MIDDLETOWN – LAKE COUNTY – A man detained by Sheriff’s Deputies was carrying illegal weapons, and told them he was carrying them for “personal protection from the methamphetamine users.”
Steve Brooks of the Lake County Sheriff’s department said in a press release that last Wednesday, March 5 at 10:30 in the evening, deputies were investigating a case in the Middletown area, a small community of less than 1500 people in the southern area of Lake County. It was historically known as the halfway stop between Lower Lake and Calistoga, thus “Middle Town”. The deputies were seeking a man who was reported to be involved in a domestic disturbance, who was said to be at Hardester’s Market and Hardware store. They had no physical description of the individual they were looking for, however.
When they arrived, they found a man in the parking lot, and approached to ask him some questions to determine if he was the subject they were looking for. As they approached the man, identified as 57-year-old Burbank resident Geoffrey Robert Chang, he was seen to reach into his right cargo pocket in his pants. The deputy asked him to take his hands out of his pockets, and he complied. Chang was asked if the deputies could conduct a search of him, and he said it was OK, but informed them that he was carrying a knife in his belt.
The search revealed more than that, however, as the deputies located in his pocket a black leather “sap” – a lead filled club used as a weapon like a billy club. Possession of such a weapon is a felony, and it was seized as evidence as they continued the search and began to arrest Chang.
He asked if he could call a friend to come and retrieve his 2 dogs, which were in his car along with some other items. She soon arrived to take the dogs, but could not herself get into his car without help, which a deputy was happy to provide. When the door was opened, the deputy saw a semi automatic pistol inside, which was placed between the seat and door. It was seized as well, and the charge of carrying a loaded weapon was added to Chang’s charges.
Chang was booked at the Hill Road Correctional Center and released on $10,000 bail. It appears that the domestic violence suspect was not located that night.