Butte County Sheriff's Office
Sheriff Kory L. HoneaThe Sheriff’s Office serves all the citizens of Butte County by providing a mix of public safety and public service functions. The Sheriff’s Office provides around-the-clock law enforcement service to every region of the county. In addition to 24 hour policing, we offer Butte County citizens a full range of services including, coroner services, civil services, court security and corrections.

 

 

 

  

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JOINT INVESTIGATION ALLOWED BCSO DEPUTIES TO PREVENT MURDER WHILE SERVING ARREST WARRANT FOR ARSON

Monday, June 15, 2020/Categories: Press Release

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June 15, 2020
JOINT INVESTIGATION ALLOWED BCSO DEPUTIES TO PREVENT MURDER WHILE SERVING ARREST WARRANT FOR ARSON
Oroville, CA - On June 11, 2020, the Butte County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) was contacted by the Oroville Police Department (OPD) in regards to Ryan Blinston, of Oroville (36), who was wanted on a felony warrant for the arson of a vehicle and considered a person of interest in the June 10, 2020 disappearance of Vicky Cline, of Oroville (57). OPD requested assistance from BCSO with locating Blinston and arresting him on the felony warrant.
During the joint investigation that followed, OPD detectives, BCSO detectives, Butte Interagency Narcotics Task Force detectives, BCSO Special Enforcement Unit detectives, and Designated Area Deputies worked together and developed information that led them to believe Blinston was staying with an acquaintance on a large, heavily forested parcel located in the 1700 block of Milsap Bar Road in Berry Creek. The aforementioned detectives worked together and obtained a search warrant for the remote 80 acre parcel, which authorized law enforcement officers to go onto the property and search for Blinston.
Due to the remote and secluded nature of the property and Blinston’s history of resisting arrest and flight from law enforcement, detectives concluded that a covert approach was necessary to prevent Blinston from being prematurely alerted to law enforcement’s presence and escaping into the heavily wooded area surrounding the property. Detectives were concerned that if Blinston evaded arrest, he would pose a danger to others he may encounter. To mitigate that risk the BCSO Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT) was tasked with serving the search and arrest warrant at the Milsap Bar property.
During the early morning hours of June 14, 2020 deputies with the BCSO SWAT team, utilizing night vision equipment, covertly entered the property under the cover of darkness so they would be in position to execute the search warrant and arrest Blinston at first light. After traveling approximately 1/4 mile onto the property, deputies heard the faint sounds of someone yelling for help along with banging noises, which became louder as deputies continued farther onto the parcel.
The deputies were eventually able to make their way to a small RV parked on the property. While approaching the RV the deputies, utilizing their night vision equipment, were able to see a man, later identified as Blinston, standing in the dark and holding a hatchet in his hand. Blinston was not able to see the approaching deputies and walked back towards the RV. Once in a closer position, the deputies activated their flashlights and identified themselves as members of the Sheriff’s Office. Blinston immediately fled into the wooded area, still carrying the hatchet, with deputies pursuing close behind.
Deputies not in pursuit of Blinston, located a man in the RV who was bleeding profusely from a deep laceration on his neck. The man, who is not being identified at this time, was the person crying out for help. The man told deputies he was attacked in his sleep by Blinston, who used a knife to slash his neck and stab him in the arm. Despite being seriously wounded, the man was able to fight Blinston off and push him out of the RV. The man locked the door in an effort to keep Blinston at bay. Blinston began attempting to force his way into the RV, which caused the banging noises heard by the deputies as they made their way onto the property.
Deputies immediately began treating the man’s injuries in an effort to save his life. Due to the time it would have taken for an ambulance to reach the location, coupled with the seriousness of the man’s injuries, deputies opted to transport him off the property in a BCSO vehicle to a landing zone where Enloe’s FlightCare helicopter was waiting. The man was flown to a local hospital where he underwent emergency surgery. The man has been admitted to a local hospital.
The area of 1700 Milsap Bar Road has no cell phone reception and due to the parcel’s remote location, it is unlikely anyone would have heard the man’s cries for help. But for the joint effort of all involved agencies, coupled with the BCSO SWAT team arriving in the location when they did, it is unlikely the man would have survived his injuries.
After a group of deputies began performing first aid on the injured man, a second group of deputies pursued Blinston, and found him attempting to hide in heavy brush, still holding the hatchet in his hand. Blinston refused numerous commands to drop the hatchet, so deputies deployed a taser and OC (pepper spray) on Blinston. After a short struggle, Blinston was taken into custody, medically cleared and booked into the Butte County Jail on the warrant for arson and is being held without bail.
On June 14, 2020, BCSO detectives, OPD detectives, Butte Interagency Narcotics Task Force detectives, and the California Department of Justice searched the Milsap Bar property and collected numerous items of evidence. The investigation into the attack of the man in the RV is ongoing. BCSO deputies will be booking Blinston for one count of attempted murder on June 15, 2020.
Questions regarding the disappearance of Vicky Cline and the associated investigation, should be referred to the Oroville Police Department. The Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone with additional information regarding the attempted murder investigation to contact Sergeant Patrick McNelis or Detective Vaj Thao at 530-538-7671.
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