REDDING, Calif. - At approximately 3:15 a.m. on Saturday, July 18, 2020, Shasta County Sheriff's Deputies contacted two men who were sitting inside of a vehicle that had been reported as being "suspicious" by a nearby Redding resident. The investigation into the suspicious activity ended in the arrest of the vehicle's passenger.
The location was the 21000 block of Old Alturas Highway in Redding, Calif. Deputies responded to a report they said was made by a resident whose driveway motion detector was activated at the early morning hour.
Deputies said when they arrived they saw the vehicle backed up toward a gate that was blocking the southern end of Helena Drive at Old Alturas Road.
The car was being driven by a parolee, so deputies were allowed to search the inside of the vehicle.
The passenger of the vehicle, 43-year-old Matthew Stephen Schoonover, appeared hesitant to get out of the vehicle, according to deputies, who said he was making "furtive movements" with his hand to one of his pant pockets. Officers aid they ordered Schoonover to take his hand out of his pocket. They said they thought it was possible that he was attempting to access a weapon.
As deputies attempted to remove Schoonover from the vehicle and to wrestle his hand out of his pocket, they discovered that the suspect had a knife in his hand.
Officers said the man attempted to physically resist the deputies while they were arresting him. Deputies said they believe their actions likely prevented the use of lethal force by officers against the suspect. They said they were protecting themselves from what seemed an imminent assault by the suspect, who was carrying a pocket knife in his hand.
After Schoonover was handcuffed, a search of the vehicle was conducted. Deputies said they found a meth pipe on the seat where Schoonover was seated, along with a plastic bag that held approximately two grams of what appeared to be methamphetamine.
Charges included felony charges of Assault with a Deadly Weapon on a Peace Officer and Committing a Felony with a Deadly Weapon. Misdemeanor charges were also included for possessing a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia.
The identification of the parolee was not provided by the officers, who said he provided a witness statement before he was released at the scene. Schoonover was taken to the Shasta County Jail. No one was harmed during the incident, according to the Shasta County Sheriff's Department.