Felon wields blades, baseball bat

07/17/2014

Sheriff’s deputies following up on a reported domestic violence incident found the suspect the next evening behind a barn on Tomasini Canyon Road, bloody, inebriated and threatening his family with a baseball bat. John McFadden, 47, a gray-haired electrician from a historic ranching family, is being held on $300,000 bail. Last Thursday night, Mr. McFadden drove home to a trailer on the Martinelli Ranch, slightly intoxicated, and allegedly made demands for food and other items from a family member who he previously lived with on the family ranch between Olema and Point Reyes Station. When he refused to leave, other family members who live on the property intervened and physically restrained Mr. McFadden. He left temporarily but soon reappeared, brandishing a pair of gardening shears. Pleading with Mr. McFadden once again, the family convinced him to leave. Sheriff’s deputies received a call the following afternoon to make a formal report that two family members had been assaulted, said Sgt. Doug Pittman, the Point Reyes substation commander. When deputies arrived to search the property that evening, a female pulled up in a car and alerted them that Mr. McFadden was a short distance away. The police found him with his face covered in blood from an apparent altercation, threatening to strike three family members with a baseball bat, Sgt. Pittman said. Mr. McFadden was booked in county jail on charges of assault with a deadly weapon, domestic violence battery, criminal threats and violation of probation, all of which he denied at his arraignment Wednesday. Two protective orders were filed for the victims. Mr. McFadden has had 11 previous run-ins with the law, including felony cases in 2005, as well as 2012 when he pled guilty to cultivating marijuana and possessing a firearm. As sheriff’s deputies continued to investigate the most recent incident, they contacted friends and family for additional information. On Saturday morning someone walked into the substation and said they had seen water lines near the road and smelled a strong odor of marijuana. On Tuesday, deputies returned to the property and found a small number of marijuana plants. No one claimed them, so the growth was eradicated, Sgt. Pittman said. No arrests were made in that incident.