There are hundreds of stories of wanted criminals trying to elude law enforcement by leading them on a high speed chase, running though homes or wilderness, or hiding in a building. Not many try to dig their way out.
Mendocino Sheriff’s Deputies were at work early Wednesday, responding to a home in rural Covelo in inland rural Mendocino County, north and east of Willits. they arrived at 4:45 am to the property in Henderson Lane with an arrest warrant and search warrant for Eugene Winterhawk Lincoln, a 37-year-old ex-convict. Lincoln had been arrested in September on charges of burglary, trespassing, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of a firearm and ammunition as a felon.
In July of 2011 he was arrested for assault likely to cause great bodily injury. He had hit a man named James Ochoa in the head with a shovel handle, and punched him in the face until he fell to the ground, according to a report in the Willits News. Once Ochoa was on the ground, Lincoln kicked him as well. Ochoa later told deputies Lincoln had accused him of trespassing and attacked him. He was already on felony probation at the time.
When the deputies tried to locate Lincoln Wednesday morning, he was not at the Henderson Lane location, so they proceeded to a known address of his on Tabor Lane, just around the corner from their first stop. Lincoln’s vehicle was parked there, so they proceeded to the door. As they approached they reported hearing sounds of commotion inside, and someone apparently going out the back door, but he was not located in a further search around the building.
So the deputies called in their reliable K9 to help them find their man. The dog was able to find a fresh track, and they followed it to find Lincoln hiding in a hole he had dug to get away. He was taken into custody, dusted off and booked at the Mendocino County Jail in his outstanding warrants for burglary, firearms and ammunition, and trespassing. They proceeded with the original search warrant, finding firearms – rifles and a shotgun – along with ammunition. Additional charges for weapons possession were added and he was held on $100,000.00 bail.