Man arrested in Mono County on multiple felonies after standoff

Press release

In the early afternoon of Thursday, February 25, 2016, Mono County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to Adobe Ranch Road, south of Highway 120 East, to investigate a report of a squatter in a vacant cabin.

William Ward

William Ward

The suspect, later identified as William Ward, broke into the property and illegally took up residence.

A deputy spotted Mr. Ward driving an older sport utility vehicle toward him on a narrow dirt road. As the truck approached, the deputy blocked the road with his patrol vehicle and turned on his light bar.

Mr. Ward accelerated his truck and rammed the patrol vehicle. Fortunately, the deputy was able to get out of his truck prior to the impact. Mr. Ward reversed his truck and retreated toward the cabin.

Two deputies and a sergeant gave chase, eventually returning to the cabin.

Mr. Ward took refuge in the cabin, and the pursuing deputies took positions of cover and ordered him to surrender.

A request was made for additional resources, and law enforcement officers from throughout Mono and Inyo Counties, along with support from medics and CalTrans, immediately deployed to the scene.

Meanwhile, Mono County Dispatch researched Mr. Ward’s criminal history. Mr. Ward had felony convictions for weapons-related offenses and had been incarcerated in state prison twice for those offenses.

As the afternoon grew into evening, Mr. Ward exited the cabin, armed with a rifle, and fired in the direction of law enforcement, shouting that they would have to kill him.

Mr. Ward barricaded himself in the cabin, and it was clear he had no intention of ending the stand-off peacefully. A coordinated plan was put into place to
diminish Mr. Ward’s capabilities, while allowing responding personnel to safely take him into custody.

Tear gas was deployed into the cabin, and team entered the cabin. Although Mr. Ward was still armed and fought being arrested, the team successfully disarmed him and took him down without significant injury.

Medics were standing by and treated Mr. Ward for exposure to tear gas. No responding personnel suffered injury during this incident.

Many thanks to the responding personnel from the California Highway Patrol, Inyo
County Sheriff’s Office, Bishop Police Department, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, United States Forest Service, California State Parks, California Department of Transportation, Mono County Paramedics, and, of course, the Mono County Sheriff’s Office.

Booking Charges for William Ward:
69 Penal Code: Felony – Resisting / Obstructing a Peace Officer
245 Penal Code: Felony – Assault with a Deadly Weapon
417.8 Penal Code: Felony – Exhibit a Firearm to Resist Arrest
459 Penal Code: Felony – Burglary
2800.2(a) Vehicle Code: Felony – Evading a Peace Officer


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21 Responses to Man arrested in Mono County on multiple felonies after standoff

  1. leondame February 28, 2016 at 12:28 pm #

    Good Job, sounds as this one could have ended more tragically.

  2. Low-Inyo February 28, 2016 at 1:22 pm #

    Hey Trouble !!….Is this someone you feel should be able to keep and bear arms and/or possess a CCW ?….if so,I hope the next vacant house he moves himself into is nextdoor to where you live.

    • Tinner February 28, 2016 at 3:35 pm #

      Convicted felons are not permitted to posses firearms.

      • Low-Inyo February 28, 2016 at 7:22 pm #

        tinner….they’re not “supposed” to posses firearms…..something tells me this guy was probably a convicted felon long before this incident…..and he had one…..maybe he can’t legally purchase one,but a firearm for anyone is a mouse-click away….long gun or pistol.

        • Taco February 29, 2016 at 8:54 am #


          By all means back that last sentence up. how can anyone get a firearm just a mouse click away. I know your just dinking from the anti gun Kool-Aid but since you stated it you need to back it up. “If you can”

          • Low-Inyo February 29, 2016 at 1:01 pm #

            Taco….I’m far from anti-gun….I have guns,and had a CCW for 10 years living in Oregon..I’m anti-gun only when stupid people can easily get them…and when stupid people think ANYONE should be able to buy and own them….and I can easily “back-up” that last sentence,as you request….go to the “for sale or trade in Owens Valley” and scroll around a little bit…and that’s just here in Inyo County….get yourself an Inyo Register and get to the want-ads….go to Lancaster and check out the Antelope Valley Press….and PLEASE don’t try to tell me the private party selling will do a back-ground check with purchase and give his sale a “waiting period “….come on,man !!

          • Really??? February 29, 2016 at 4:30 pm #

            Low-Inyo. Being s gun owner would you be dumb enough to sell a gun without going through an FFL? I know I sure as hell wouldn’t. Why would I want to risk selling a gun private party and leave the liability open for myself to still be the registered owner of a gun used in a crime? It’s no different than submitting a release if liability when you sell a car. That is why your argument is invalid in my point of view. Sure, you can buy a gun online… Right after you provide the address and license number to an FFL.

          • Low-Inyo February 29, 2016 at 6:33 pm #

            Really ????….Since I don’t buy or sell guns on-line,at gun shows or through the want ads,I don’t really know much about an FFL in California…..but from what I see,that sounds like more for gun dealers and not private party sales……and if I were selling,I would want some type of release of liability….but that still doesn’t mean the guy or girl buying would be ligit and giving you accurate info and maybe getting into the wrong hands…I’m still doubting private party sales include a waiting period…I’ll bet if I saw a .45 auto I liked on facebook,messaged the seller,and met to purchase I’d have the pistol that day.

          • TACO February 29, 2016 at 9:29 pm #

            You obviously have no clue how Private Party transfers are done in California, let me educate you so your no longer ignorant on the process.
            1. You find a buyer.
            2. Buyer most posses a Handgun Saftey Certificate ( you must take a test to get it) or California CCW
            3. Seller and Buyer meet at local FFL dealer to fill out paperwork for background check and buyer pays Seller for Gun and pays FFL dealer for Private Party Transfer Fee. Once paperwork is complete Seller is done and walks away. FFL submits paperwork to State and Federal Government for background check and FFL Dealer holds the gun for 10 days.
            4. After 10 days are up the buyer can return and take overship of the gun is background has been passed.


        • Tinner February 29, 2016 at 8:07 pm #

          Low-Inyo, the article reads:
          “Mr. Ward had felony convictions for weapons-related offenses and had been incarcerated in state prison twice for those offenses.”
          And you stated something tells me…
          Criminals and convicted felons won’t always obey our laws and they won’t always choose abandoned cabin’s and the cops can’t always be there to protect us law abiding citizens.
          I have no desire or a need for a ccw but I will never give up my 2nd Amendment right.

        • Rick OB February 29, 2016 at 9:35 pm #

          Hey Low-boy…I thought you were PRO 2nd ammendment, what happened ? I can remember more than once where you stated you were armed and glad of it. Guns are for responsible , level-headed people who want to protect themselves from morons like this guy. He probably STOLE the gun he had.

  3. Curious February 28, 2016 at 2:21 pm #

    Props to responding officers for using tactics that included self-restraint. Mr. Ward is fortunate to still be among the living, IMHO.

    • Taco February 29, 2016 at 8:55 am #

      Too bad that I as a tax payer will have to be funding him the rest of his life….

      • Trouble February 29, 2016 at 6:22 pm #

        If he shot at a police officer he deserves many years in jail. I’m not a fan of jail, except for the truly violent and dangerous. Does that answer your question lower inyo?

      • curious February 29, 2016 at 10:58 pm #

        Taco, post an address and I’ll refund your I as a taxpayer tax burden for Mr. Wards care, which would most likely be about a dime for your share.

  4. Charles O. Jones February 28, 2016 at 3:34 pm #

    Bad guy in custody. No one hurt. Well done.

    Thank you.

  5. spookerj February 29, 2016 at 5:43 am #

    Ban older SUV’s. Used as weapons too many times…

  6. Low-Inyo March 1, 2016 at 8:02 am #

    Taco…..If the laws work,no problems…..but they don’t….I recently watched a “Dateline” on T.V.,where they hired an ex-felon,with police presence on site, wearing a camera and giving him money,to go into a gun show and try to purchase firearms….the seller sold the ex-felon a rifle and a pistol,he came out to,dropped the guns off,went back into the gun show with more money and to a different seller,and came back out with two pistols he was able to purchase,with paperwork he was “supposed ” to fill out….the sellers were both busted..don’t think this took place in California,where gun laws seem to be kinda strict,(probably in Arizona or Texas),but it can be done,and is done by many.I still say if I wanted to purchase a firearm,rifle or pistol private party,I could make a phone call to a want-ad in the newspaper,or a facebook click and message and I’d have possession of it that night.

  7. MammothResident March 1, 2016 at 10:50 am #

    It really sounds like the officers did everything they could to deescalate the situation without using unnecessary force. I have a lot of respect for the Sheriff’s department and all the emergency personnel for how they handled this very dangerous and difficult situation. After seeing reports of excessive force/police brutality in the news on a weekly basis, I am especially thankful that the law enforcement in this area actively do everything they can to resolve situations with the least amount of bloodshed and violence, even if the situation calls for extreme measures.

    For those interested, John Oliver did a great segment on the disturbing militarization of America’s police force. I’m not sure if I can add a link to my comments so just google ‘John Oliver Police Militarization’ to see the Youtube video.

  8. Bobby joe March 4, 2016 at 6:34 am #

    Seems more and more dangerous people coming to both Into and Mono Counties.

    • Low-Inyo March 4, 2016 at 3:09 pm #

      Bobby joe…..but the good thing is,they usually don’t last too long.


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