COBB, LAKE COUNTY – Cobb is a small town of less than 2,000 people in the woods south of Clear Lake between Middletown and Kelseyville near the Boggs Mountain State Forest. Generally a peaceful place, it is known for several meditation retreats and resort cabins for people to get away to the mountains, and even enjoy a little golf. On Tuesday morning this week, however, that peace was interrupted by a fight at a home next to the 9-hole Cobb Mountain Gold Course.
At 11:12 am Tuesday the 20th, Sheriff’s patrol deputies were sent to the home on the 16000 block of Golf Road on reports of a fight involving several people, according to Steve Brooks of the Lake Sheriff’s office. When they got there, everyone involved in the fight was gone. They were told the 20-year-old man who lived there had been taken to the hospital for injuries he had suffered. The resident told them that two men had done the damage, one of whom was named Seth and lived at the Pine Grove Resort, a little over a mile away.
Deputies went to the resort, a collection of cabins in the woods off Bottle Rock Road and near Kelsey Creek. Seth was identified as Seth Henry Lawrence, 36. They found his cabin, and saw that the door had apparently been forced open, with visible damage to the frame and lock. Lawrence was not there, however, and deputies turned their attention to the injured victim. They contacted him at St. Helena Hospital in Clearlake. He had multiple contusions and lacerations to his face, head, hands and back. He required several surgical staples for the most severe laceration.
The young man gave them a statement on what had occurred. He told them that Seth Lawrence and another man, later identified as Casey Ellis Snow, had come to his home, and as they got out of their vehicle, he noticed that Snow had a handgun with him. Snow came at him with the gun, and he and Lawrence attacked, punching and kicking him repeatedly. Lawrence was accusing him of breaking into his cabin and stealing a laptop computer, $300 in cash, and some “smoking paraphernalia”.
He went on to say that Snow had hit his head with the butt of the gun, and he was knocked unconscious. Snow, apparently the “heavy”, also grabbed the young man by the throat, dragged him into the house, and demanded to look for the stolen items. Fearing for his life he told them they could search all they wanted. At some point, he said Snow had shoved the barrel of the gun in his mouth, chipping one of his teeth, while he fought back to remove it. Meanwhile, Lawrence could not find any of his missing items. Both men left, but Snow said “this is not over, we’ll be back!”.
A deputy then returned to Pine Grove to look again for Lawrence, and as he pulled in the drive, a white pickup truck was on its way out. Lawrence, in the truck, then pulled onto a dirt road, and then onto Bottle Rock headed West. He drove fast and the deputy lost sight of him, but as he pursued further he saw the truck parked behind a dirt pile. The deputy was able to detain Lawrence without any further resistance.
Lawrence gave his side of the story, saying that his home had been broken into, and though he hadn’t reported it, he was told the young man in question was responsible for several recent burglaries. He said he did go to his house to confront him, and admitted to punching him several times in the face, but said he never had a weapon. He also said he did not find any of his property at the home. He was arrested and booked for burglary, battery with great bodily injury, exhibiting a firearm, and being an accessory.
His accomplice, Casey Snow was found the next day at his home in Kelseyville, 13 miles away. He was also arrested and booked for burglary, battery with great bodily injury, brandishing and assault with a firearm, and being an accessory. Both men were booked at the Lake County Hill Road Correctional facility, while detectives look into whether the victim is actually a burglar, or if they had him wrong the whole time.