by Cindy Summers
Police reports are provided to us by the Ventura Police Department and are not the opinions of the Ventura Breeze. All suspects mentioned are assumed to be innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Brandishing of a Replica Firearm, Battery on a Police Dog, Resisting Arrest and Trespassing
On February 25 at 3pm, the Ventura Police Department Command Center received a 911 call of a subject armed and brandishing a handgun near the intersection of Thompson Blvd. and Garden St. Officers arrived and contacted the victim, who reported last seeing the subject climbing a fence and go underneath the Highway 101 overpass at Garden St. The subject, 37-year-old vagrant Jeffrey Wheelock, is known by officers to frequent the area and located him hiding in a crawl space under the overpass.
Officers gave Wheelock several commands to come out, but he refused and would not show them his hands. With reports that Wheelock was possibly armed with a handgun, a Ventura Police K-9, Miles, was deployed. Wheelock began hitting the K-9 in the head, and was able to further wedge himself into the crawl space. Officers trained in crisis negotiations responded and negotiated with Wheelock for approximately 30 minutes but were unsuccessful. Officers also deployed water using a fire hose in an attempt to flush Wheelock out, but he still did not come out. The K-9 was deployed a second time, at which time several officers approached the crawl space and were able to physically take Wheelock into custody.
During a search of his property, two replica firearms were located.
Wheelock was transported to a local hospital for treatment of his injuries as a result of the dog bite, and later booked for brandishing of a replica firearm, battery on a police dog, resisting arrest and trespassing.
On February 26, at approximately 1pm, officers attempted to conduct a probation search on a Post Release Offender (PROS) in the 200 block of Delaware Dr. As the officers knocked on the front door, 39-year-old Steven Bohannan ran out of the rear of the house and started to jump over fences running from one yard to another. Bohannan does not live at the address and was not the subject of the search; however, the officers recognized him as being a wanted subject.
Officers quickly set up a perimeter and asked for additional resources to assist in searching for Bohannan. A short time later, a Ventura County Sheriff’s Department helicopter arrived as well as Ventura Police K9 officer and his partner Miles. After an extensive search, officers were able to narrow Bohannan’s location to an address in the 2900 block of Omaha Av. During the search of the residence, K9 Miles detected Bohannan hiding in a refrigerator in the garage and alerted officers. Bohannan was removed from the refrigerator and arrested for his warrants, delaying a peace officer, trespass, and possession of a controlled substance.
No one was injured during the incident. A review of Ventura County Superior Court records shows that Bohannan has been arrested in the past for burglary, possession of a concealed firearm and DUI.
Train vs. Pedestrian
On February 29, at approximately 5pm, the Ventura Police Command Center was notified by Amtrak dispatch regarding a pedestrian being struck by an Amtrak train on the railroad tracks west of Anacapa St., in Ventura. Officers and Ventura City Fire Personnel arrived on scene and found the victim adjacent to the railroad tracks. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
According to the train conductor the northbound train was traveling at approximately 50-55 mph, when he saw the victim intentionally lay down on the tracks. All emergency attempts were made to stop the train, but the train did not stop in time and struck the victim.
The Ventura County Medical Examiner responded to the scene. The name of the victim was not immediately determined. Once the victim’s identity has been confirmed, the coroner’s office will notify the next of kin.
The train was delayed at the scene with approximately 100 passengers on board for about two hours while the investigation was being completed. No one else was injured as a result of this incident.
Vehicle Pursuit with Arrest
On March 3, at approximately 9pm, a patrol officer saw a vehicle driving in the area of San Nicholas Street and Coronado Street that matched the description of a suspect who has committed a vehicle burglary earlier in the evening. The officer attempted to stop the vehicle. The driver failed to yield, and the officer went in pursuit of the suspect. The pursuit continued through the Midtown area of Ventura until the suspect collided with a planter in the area of Ash Street and Front Street. After the collision, the suspect fled on foot but was caught by officers near the pier.
At the conclusion of the investigation, the suspect, 37 year old Ventura resident Steven Cossel, was arrested for possession of stolen property (felony), failing to yield to officers (felony), hit and run (misdemeanor), possession of drugs (misdemeanor) and possession of drug paraphernalia (misdemeanor).
A review of the Ventura County Superior Court website revealed that Cossel had numerous prior arrests over the past five years. The arrests include possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, possession of stolen property, evading police officers, obstructing police officers, under the influence of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.