Northern California

California Man Convicted in Shootout With 2 Officers

A Northern California man was convicted Wednesday of assaulting a federal ranger and a California highway patrolman during a shootout that left all three men wounded near a remote campsite last summer.

A federal jury in Sacramento convicted Brent Douglas Cole, 61, of Nevada County, of wounding both officers with a deadly weapon and firing a gun during a violent crime.

The ranger was shot in the left shoulder and the CHP officer in the right leg.

Cole was shot several times but surrendered only after he ran out of ammunition, federal prosecutors said.

Cole's attorney, J. Toney, of Woodland, declined to comment.

The shootout took place 9 miles north of Nevada City near the South Yuba River campground on June 14.

The federal Bureau of Land Management ranger initially let Cole go with a warning for driving his truck on a closed dirt road. The ranger then found Cole's makeshift campground with two motorcycles, one of them reported stolen and the other with expired registration.

Cole emerged from the brush surrounding the campsite as the ranger and highway patrolman were impounding both bikes, prosecutors said. He announced that he had come to collect his belongings, that he was armed and that he would refuse to let the ranger handcuff him, they said.

They said he then drew a .44 caliber revolver and began shooting, striking both officers as they returned fire.

"This violent event underscores the potential dangers BLM officers face every day as we safeguard the public and natural resources,'' Kynan Barrios, the BLM's California special agent in-charge, said in a statement. He offered special thanks to the CHP and Nevada County Sheriff's Department, "whose actions prevented this incident from ending in greater tragedy.''

The assault charges each carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison when Cole is sentenced May 1. Firing the gun could bring 10 years on top of the sentence he receives on the assault charges.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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