A disturbance at a transient camping area early in the morning on Saturday (June 24, 2017) resulted in the hospitalization of a homeless man who was hit by a car.
On Saturday morning at 1:15 am, Redding patrol officers were dispatched to a disturbance in the area of Smile Place, near the Sacramento River. This wooded area is a common camping place for transients.
When officers arrived, several transients who were camping by the river informed officers that their friend had been hit by a car and was on the way to the hospital. At the same time, two vehicles containing five men flagged officers down. The men said a group of transients surrounded them in the area of Smile Place, and a homeless man was struck by one of their vehicles when they tried to leave the area.
A short time later, Matthew Edward Miller, age 51, arrived at the hospital. He said he was hit by a car during the incident at Smile Place. Miller suffered scrapes and abrasions, and he complained of pain to his ribcage. He was later released from the hospital after treatment for his external wounds.
Miller and other transient subjects said they were camping when a group of several men arrived. They were carrying flashlights, and one of the men had his face covered. There was a confrontation between the two groups, with weapons being produced by both sides. The group of transients followed the group away from the camp, to where their cars were parked. Miller claimed he was not carrying a weapon, and he was trying to keep the peace. He claimed he was hit by a vehicle leaving the area, and he felt it was possibly intentional.
Officers contacted Bryant Robert Krause, age 27, at Market Street and Eureka Way. He had damage to his passenger vehicle’s hood, along with a smashed windshield on the driver’s side. Blood was visible on the windshield.
Krause said a group of transients surrounded him as he was trying to leave the area of Smile Place. One of the transients approached his car with a crowbar. He drove away quickly, at which time he hit someone with his car. He said it was unclear to him whether or not the person he hit had the crowbar.
Bryant Krause denied having any weapons with him, but the four individuals with him were carrying concealed handguns. All four subjects were determined to have valid concealed carry permits. One of the permits was issued by the Tehama County Sheriff’s Department, and the other three had permits issued by the Shasta County Sheriff’s office.
The four armed individuals said they accompanied Krause this evening after seeing reports on social media that he was attacked by possible transients. Krause reported being a victim of a battery while riding his motorcycle through Redding in the early morning hours of June 16, 2017.
The men said they wanted to walk around Redding late at night to see if the problem was as bad as they were hearing it was. The also wanted the regular citizens of Redding to “feel safe” by their presence. They started the evening in the Walmart parking lot on Dana Drive, and later decided to walk through the wooded area by Smile Place.
One of the members of the group identified himself as Daniel Byron Ryant, age 44. He said he was a concealed weapons instructor in Tehama County, and he carries a pistol on a daily basis. He said they parked at a nearby car dealership and walked into the camping area on foot. Upon entering the camp, a transient male subject became angry because he shined a flashlight on him. The transient pulled a knife, at which time he pulled a handgun and backed out of the situation. Several transients came out of the bushes, at which time they ran back to their cars.
While officers were talking with Ryant, a homeless man approached officers and said Ryant threatened him with a pistol during the incident. The homeless man denied having a weapon. He said he was merely coming out of the bushes to see what was going on after hearing a disturbance in his sleeping area.
Ryant was cited for brandishing a firearm in a threatening manner, which is a misdemeanor. His pistol and ammunition were booked as evidence.
This case will be sent to the Shasta County District Attorney’s office for consideration of charging Bryant Krause with felony assault with a deadly weapon (vehicle).