On March 21, 2021, at about 10:56 p.m., officers with the Eureka Police Department responded to a gas station at the 1700 block of 4th Street for the report of a robbery. The employee stated that a male, later identified as 21-year-old Jack Bullwinkel of Arcata, entered the store simulating a firearm under his shirt and demanded money. Bullwinkel fled on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash.
While the employee was attempting to phone police, Bullwinkel returned and struggled with the employee in an attempt to keep him from phoning. During the struggle, a male associated with Bullwinkel arrived on scene and assaulted the employee. The associated male was later identified as 39-year-old Bradley Mallet of Eureka. Bullwinkel then fled the scene on foot for the second time.
While responding to the scene, an EPD officer witnessed Bullwinkel running to the rear of the 1600 block of 4th Street. After a brief foot pursuit, the officer attempted to physically detain him. Bullwinkel resisted and the officer fell to the ground. According to witnesses, Bullwinkel was seen standing over the officer and was repeatedly punching him on the head and putting pressure to the neck area. A male witness ran over and made multiple attempts to get Bullwinkel off of the officer. Additional officers arrived on scene and ultimately got Bullwinkel restrained and in custody.
Humboldt Bay Fire and City Ambulance arrived and transported the officer to the hospital for treatment of a moderate head injury. As of this afternoon, the officer has been released from the hospital and is recovering at home.
Bullwinkel was transported to the hospital for medical clearance by officers. Bullwinkel continued to be highly combative towards officers and hospital staff and had to be restrained. After medical clearance he was transported and booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility for robbery, violently resisting arrest, and assault on an officer causing great bodily injury. Mallet was also arrested for his involvement and booked into HCCF for robbery.
Chief Watson said, “Incidents like this illustrate the real dangers police officers face every day on our behalf as they put on their uniforms, cast aside their own concerns, and bravely go out to protect and serve our community. I would also like to take a moment to thank the citizen-witness who rushed to our officer’s aid as he struggled with a violently combative robbery suspect. Your courage and willingness to risk your own safety in defense of another reflects the best of our community and the partnership we so greatly value.”