Mystery leaves cops on edge
It’s a mystery why the car’s back window shattered.
But the incident put Orland police officers and Glenn County sheriff’s deputies on edge about a possible shot being fired on police officers during a traffic stop Sunday night.
“The assumption was we were being shot at,” Orland police Sgt. Joe Vlach said in a statement. “So the first thing we had to do was take cover and get the occupants out and get them to safety.”
The occupants of the Saturn 4-door were from Prineville, Ore., and were stopped around 8:30 p.m. on Eighth Street, just south of Newville Road in Orland, for driving with their lights off, officials said.
During the stop, the Saturn’s rear windshield shattered with a large hole on the left side.
Police Chief JC Tolle said within minutes patrol units from Glenn County, Orland and the
California Highway Patrol – including one of its helicopters – arrived at the scene with everyone believing they had been shot at.
The area was checked by air and officers on the ground, but nothing out of the ordinary was found, Tolle said.
Tolle said after things calmed down, officers were able to examine the car and could not locate anything that may have caused the rear window to shatter like it did.
“There were no bullet holes, rocks, BBs, pellets or air-soft BBs,” he said.
There was some speculation that one of the occupants might have tossed something into the back and hit the window.
One thought was that a jar containing marijuana may have been the culprit.
But for now, Tolle is chalking the whole thing up as a mystery.
Glenn County Sheriff Larry Jones called the incident unsettling, but was relieved that no shots had been fired on the officers.
“It had everyone on edge a little while,” he said.
The occupants of the Saturn, Rebecca Stafford, 39, and Leeanne Lamance, 44, were cleared and allowed to go on their way.