Photo: Stock Photo
The Santa Clara River bed running through southern Ventura County and the City of Oxnard has long been an area known to be inhabited by a community of transients. According to Ventura County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Detective Victor Holmes Jr., those transient encampments are “located within a flood zone” and are a number of unsafe factors impacting the efforts of law enforcement to maintain the safety of the area. Whether it’s frequent “brush fires, wild animals, violent unsecured dogs, hazardous materials” and impassable dense vegetation,” calls for service have historically been a serious challenge for VCSD deputies.
Given those issues, when 29-year-old transient Michael Turner was identified on December 28th as “attacking people with a large knife” and deputies responded to deal with him, the law enforcement response involved a Ventura County Sheriff’s Aviation Unit helicopter, VCSD West County Special Enforcement Unit detectives, and VCSD Headquarters Patrol Station deputies. That response was a full-on search effort for Turner, but “due to the dense foliage and difficult terrain,” Turner evade capture.
The ensuing investigation into Turner’s actions indicated that he had “battered his girlfriend with a large object and his hands, including brandishing “a large wooden object and a large knife.” At that time, Turner is alleged to have made “credible threats” to another adult female victim.
In spite of the challenges posed by the realities of the Santa Clara River area, the search for Turner continued unabated and he was finally contacted on the afternoon of January 9th. He was taken into custody, transported to Ventura County Jail, and booked on multiple charges of assault with a deadly weapon, domestic violence, and criminal threats. He remains in custody with his bail set at $50,000.