Arrest made in Shelter Cove tower vandalism

The California Highway Patrol has arrested a Shelter Cove man for the June 23 vandalism that caused extensive damage to the Communication Tower in Shelter Cove.

In that incident, several shots from a high-powered rifle were fired into the tower, damaging a support leg. Several other shots were fired into a building that houses radio communication systems for several state and local fire and law enforcement agencies. Estimates for the damage to the tower were set at $100,000, with an additional $10,000 in damages to the building. Some 25 shell casings were recovered from the scene.

On July 15, the CHP, with the assistance of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department and investigators from the U.S. Coast Guard, served a search warrant at the residence of William Lloyd Nelson at 115 Kelley Road in Shelter Cove. Nelson was arrested for probation and weapons violations after a search of his residence. Various firearms and ammunition were seized and further follow-up investigation resulted in additional evidence being located which the investigators believe links Nelson to the shooting of the radio tower and building.

Felony vandalism and additional weapons charges have been filed against Nelson through the Humboldt District Attorney’s Office. Nelson was booked into the Humboldt County Jail, with bail set at $500,000.