UPPER LAKE, LAKE COUNTY – Chasing kids off your property is a tradition as old as the front yard, but a man from Upper Lake was arrested for shooting at two twelve-year-old boys whom he saw outside at midnight, and thought of as a threat to his home and property.
Late last Friday night Sheriff’s deputies were sent to Maddocks Court, a small gravel road off of Main Street in rural Upper Lake, north of Highway 20. According to Steve Brooks of the Sheriff’s office, there were reports of shots fired in the area. They contacted resident Salvador Zenadia Estrada, a homeowner at the end of the small dead end road, who told them he had seen three intruders on his home security system. He said he grabbed his 9 mm handgun and checked outside of his front door. He said he heard people slowly walking by, and thought they might be after his car, assuming they were about to steal it.
He told the deputies he had been the victim of a home invasion robbery last year, when someone had tried to steal his backyard marijuana plants. Now again fearing for his life and property, he said that he shot at the suspected intruders twice through the closed front window of the house, aiming above them in hopes of scaring them away. He did not explain where he thought the bullets flying above their heads may eventually hit, a concern with other houses in the immediate area within range of firearms.
The investigating deputy located the two bullet holes in Estrada’s window, and saw at least one of the shots was actually fired in a downward angle, going through the glass and into a window mounted air conditioner. Two 9 mm shells were also located and seized as evidence.
The deputies next searched around the area, and spoke to the man who lives next door and shares a driveway; that house is 25 yards from Estrada’s. He told them that his 12-year-old grandson was with a friend, also 12, and that the two boys went outside that night because it was so hot, and they wanted to get some air. They interviewed the boys, who told them they had walked down the driveway, and were coming back up when they heard the two shots. One said he even thought he felt a bullet go over his head. They both claimed they were never on Estrada’s property or near his car.
Estrada was taken into custody at 1:08 am Saturday June 7, and booked at the Hill Road Correctional Facility on charges of willfully discharging a firearm in a negligent manner. His 9 mm handgun, along with a 9 mm Carbine rifle were seized as evidence. No marijuana or other drugs were collected from his home. He posted $15,000 bail and is due in court on July 8.