POINT ARENA, MENDOCINO COUNTY “It’s 5 o’clock somewhere” goes the familiar saying, tacitly giving people permission to begin their drinking earlier in the day, despite the custom of confining one’s partying to the later hours of the evening. According to a Sheriff’s Department report, 45-year-old Trevor Sanders seemed to have reached his peak at about 5 pm last Saturday in a local bar in the small coastal town.
Point Arena California is known for a couple of things. The town on the Mendocino Coast is the home of the tallest lighthouse on the west coast of the U.S., at 115 feet. And with a population of under 500, Point Arena is one of the smallest incorporated cities in California. It also has a reputation as a hippie and counterculture enclave, along with being tourist and fishing destination.
Sanders, a local resident and current member of the Point Arena City Council, reportedly left a Main Street bar sometime after 5 pm, and caused a collision and fight that resulted in a call to the sheriff’s office at 5:48 Saturday afternoon, May 24. According to the Press Democrat, Sanders had been at the Sign Of The Whale bar celebrating a win by the High School baseball team, which Sanders coaches. He is also a teacher.
Witnesses reported that he left the bar drunk, and as he drove away, began ramming into cars parked on the street, and almost hitting a pedestrian. One man was just getting into his own car, and said he saw Sanders driving right towards him. He jumped out of the way and avoided being struck, but then saw Sanders throw his Chevy Suburban into reverse, and back into his car twice.
One of the victims identified by the Sheriff’s Department was Alex Bartlett, who is currently a “Facebook friend” of Sanders. It was he who then tried to take Sanders’ car keys to prevent him from doing any further damage. Sanders fought back against this attempt, but together with others in the area, Alex managed to detain him until the law could get there. Deputies arrived and took control of Sanders, arresting him and transporting him to the County Jail in Ukiah. He was charged with misdemeanor DUI with blood alcohol over .08%, and felony assault with a deadly weapon other than a firearm, in this case his car. Bail was set at $30,000.
Sanders was involved in a recall of the City Council in 2011, which resulted in his own election to one of the five positions. He was accused by the then council of having a personal vendetta developed by his bartending relationship with another recall candidate. The recall succeeded, and Sanders was elected to the council. Whether a recall effort will be launched against him now remains to be seen.
The Press Democrat: Point Arena city councilman suspected of ramming cars outside bar