Point Arena is the home of one of the world famous Northern California lighthouses that hug the Mendocino County shore and bring tourists to explore the beautiful scenery and historic, romantic structures that once guided ships at sea and kept them from crashing into the rocky coastline. But just south of the iconic lighthouse, and both coastal and marine reserves, is the small town of Point Arena. The city of under 500 people is nestled along Highway 1, also known as the Shoreline Highway and, when it passes through town, Main Street.
A man who lives in Point Arena, 30-year-old Daniel Vergara Perez, got up last Tuesday morning, May 26, and apparently began drinking, or perhaps taking some kind of drug, early in the day. By the afternoon he left his home on Mill Street, and walked to the small central part of town along Main, which is only about a block away.
According to the Mendocino Sheriff’s Department, as he got to the Main Street area, Perez began kicking doors of the local businesses, banging on their windows, confronting pedestrians with challenges to fight, and walking out onto the street, stopping traffic. He threw a bottle at a 49-year-old local man, and physically assaulted another man, shoving a 27-year-old visiting from Southern California’s Manhattan Beach.
By 1:45 people had begun calling the Sheriff’s Office to report the strange and disturbing behavior, and deputies soon responded to the area and were able to take Perez into custody. He was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon – the bottle; simple assault, for accosting and shoving the other victim; disturbing the peace with offensive language, and fighting or challenging a fight in a public place. He was also charged with violating his probation.
Perez had been arrested just a week prior, on Monday, May 18, on charges of public intoxication. Earlier records show he was arrested in 2013, in January for inflicting corporal injury on a spouse or co-habitant (domestic violence), and in July once again for public intoxication. He faced that charge again in May of 2014.
Perez was booked into the Mendocino County Jail and held on $35,000 bail for his latest offenses. The Sheriff’s Department did not specify if he was under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or some combination.