Cops and courts: Woman spies flying car in her back yard

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer

A Clovis woman called police Saturday when she saw a vehicle in the air above her backyard fence, according to police reports.

Victoria Byrd said she looked through the window when she heard a crash in the alley behind her home, and saw the nose of a white car peek above her six-foot-tall wooden privacy fence.

“It’s not exactly something you see everyday — I didn’t expect to see a car flying through the air,” she said.

Byrd said she ran outside to see if the driver was all right and called 911.
The 16-year-old driver told police he had an argument with his family and was driving through the alley looking for his stepfather. He said he struck a dumpster, then a fence post and went airborne. The vehicle landed on its roof, the report said.

The youth was not injured, the report said. He was issued a citation for reckless driving.

Byrd said this is the first airborne car she has seen near her home, but cars often “fly” down the alley and it was “just a matter of time” before an accident occurred.

Two students at Choices Alternative School are being charged with battery after a fight over chocolate, according to police reports.

Rhonda Guthals, a teacher, told police last week a male student and female student began arguing over candy in class. When the boy offered the girl a piece of chocolate, she pushed it back at him forcefully. The boy, Guthals said, chewed up a piece of candy and spit it on her. The girl then slapped the boy on the back, and he “returned the blow across her face,” the report said.

According to the report, warrants for battery are being obtained for the students.

The manager of a car lot in the 100 block of East Second Street believes thieves siphoned almost $200 worth of gas from vehicles some time over the weekend of Oct. 14-15, according to a police report filed Monday.

He told police someone had removed gas from seven vehicles at Mike Scioli’s Auto Sales, the report said.

The case is under investigation.

A student who mooned an assistant principal and several students at school will receive a citation, according to police reports.

Tamara Callahan, the assistant principal of Gattis Junior High School, told police on Oct. 11 a male student pulled his pants down, “baring his butt” to her and several other students. She told police the student had been sent home for a 10-day suspension, the report said.

The police officer noted in his report the child would be given a juvenile citation for disorderly conduct when he returned from suspension.

Melrose’s mayor said Friday he has not yet completed an administrative investigation into the alleged actions of the police chief.

Lance Pyle, village mayor, said his investigation is still under way following the Oct. 11 arrest of Police Chief Mike Trammell. Pyle said he hopes to complete the investigation within the next week or two.

Trammell, 36, charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty, was placed on paid administrative leave. Disciplinary action could include reprimand to dismissal, Pyle said.

Curry County Sheriff-elect Matt Murray has been filling the chief’s position on an as-needed basis since Trammell was placed on leave, Pyle said. “I’m getting good feedback (from residents). I think they’re excited about getting to know the new sheriff, and they are happy they’re being protected,” Pyle said.

Cops and courts is compiled by CNJ staff writer Sharna Johnson. She can be contacted at 763-6991 or: e-mail to: