Mendocino County Sheriff Killed In The Line Of Duty

Mendocino County Sheriff Deputy Ricky Del Fiorentino was shot and killed during a search for a fugitive fleeing from Eugene Oregon.

Reported by Terrence Vaughn

The suspect, 32 year old Ricardo Antonio Chaney kidnapped a couple in Eugene during the early hours of the morning, stealing their 2006 black BMW 330 and locking the couple in the trunk.

Sheriffs Deputy Ricky Del Fiorentino
Sheriffs Deputy Ricky Del Fiorentino

Mendocino County Sheriffs Dispatch was notified that the suspect was in Mendocino County after a 911 call from Confusion Hill described an altercation between the suspect and the business owner at Confusion Hill. He said that the suspect was urinating in public and asked him to be more discrete. The Suspect went to the car and returned walking as if he was carrying something under his arm. When he entered the shop the owner of the shop struck him with a baseball bat in the arm causing him to drop a shotgun he was carrying. The owner fled to another part of the building and locked himself behind the door. The suspect fired through the door and fled.

Mendocino County Sheriffs responded to the business owner’s 911 call and engaged in a high speed pursuit at over 100 miles per hour, South on Highway 1. After losing the suspect’s vehicle North of Fort Bragg, authorities began searching for it. While searching for the vehicle Deputy Ricky Del Fiorentino came around a corner on Park Ave., North of Cleone and came bumper to bumper with the fleeing vehicle.

Ricardo Antonio Chaney
Ricardo Antonio Chaney

What happened next can only be surmised by the evidence but it appears as if it was an ambush. Hearing gunfire Lieutenant John Naulty of The Fort Bragg Police Department approached the car on foot to find the Sheriffs Deputy deceased behind the wheel. The Sheriff car was riddled with bullets and the suspect was in the process of taking the Sheriff’s handgun from it’s holster. Officer Naulty engaged the suspect and a shootout ensued. After fleeing on foot the suspect was tracked down and found with a gunshot wound to his leg which he apparently died from.

At this time it is not clear what happened to the couple kidnapped from Oregon other that they escaped and are not harmed. Let us give our condolences to the family of Ricky Del Fiorentino. Ricky was a loved member of our community who also coached wrestling at Fort Bragg High School.

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Ricardo Antonio Chaney was lodged in Lane County Jail in Oregon on March 6 2014 on charges of unlawful possession or concealment of firearms and possession of MDMA. Chaney was booked and released that same day.

According to a Eugene police online report, officers had stopped Chaney that day after being dispatched to the Monroe Park area regarding the possible location of stolen property.

Upon stopping Chaney in his vehicle, they found he had no vehicle insurance; during an impound search, they discovered several firearms, including a modified AR-15, as well as body armor located in the vehicle’s glove box and trunk, according to the report.

Chaney had no felony convictions in Oregon, records show. He was charged with felony domestic assault in Lane County in 2006, but the charge was later dismissed, records indicate. He was convicted on a misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct in Lane County in 2003, records show.

Reporter Jack Moran, The Associated Press and radio station KTDE contributed to this report.

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