Photo: Wheelock’s replica guns
Ventura County – When uniformed Ventura Police Department officers were alerted to a report of an armed suspect hiding under a freeway overpass on the afternoon of February 25th, they responded in force. According to VPD spokesman Cmdr. Rick Murray, and found themselves dealing with a suspect who had wedged himself inside a crawl space under the overpass.
When the suspect—later identified as 37-year-old Jeffrey Wheelock—refused to comply with police commands to reveal himself or to respond to questions about his possessing a firearm, the cops deployed a VPD K9 unit. The police dog surged into the crawl space, but Wheelock “hit the K9 in the head” and remained tucked into his crawl space.
At that point, law enforcement crisis negotiators were brought into play. Their attempts to negotiate went on for more than half an hour and failed to elicit compliance on the part of Wheelock.
With tensions ratcheting upward, a City of Ventura Fire Department rig arrived on the scene. VFD personnel took aim with a high-pressure firehose and opened a valve in an attempt to quite literally flush Wheelock out…but he held fast, remaining in place.
The cops girded their loins and initiated a full assault “in tandem” with a second K9 unit which proved successful, if a bit bloody. Wheelock was finally taken into custody and transported to a local area hospital for treatment of dog bit wounds.
Once stitched up, Wheelock was transported to Ventura County Jail, where he was booked on charges of brandishing replica firearms, trespassing, resisting arrest, and battering a police dog.
Photo: Courtesy Ventura Police Department