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Coyote Sam strikes!

Coyote Sam holds the stolen Mother Lode Roundup Parade and Rodeo use permit high in the air. Maggie Beck / Union Democrat, Copyright 2013.
Shots rang out in Sonora at noon Thursday, but Sheriff Jim Mele wasn’t worried.

He and his red-shirted posse members were wining and dining sponsors of the Mother Lode Roundup at Emberz Wood-Fired Foodz in Sonora.

“With all these Red Shirts around, we will do just fine,” he said, but that didn’t turn out to be true. 

The outlaws rode their horses down Washington Street, shooting and startling passers-by until they reached the restaurant, went inside, grabbed shots of rotgut and started bothering customers.

Mother Lode Roundup Queen Taylor Howell and the slate of 2013 queen contestants — Lorna Job, Ashley Taylor, Cortney Allen and Kimberly Perez — chased them off with silly string and the help of posse members.

All was quiet until lunch was over and the crowd went outside. That’s when Coyote Sam and his ne’er-do-wells came galloping back, guns blaring, took Queen Howell hostage, and grabbed the use permit for the parade.

Mele jumped in and grabbed the queen from their clutches.

“We can’t hold the parade without the permit,” he said, “but at least I saved the queen.”

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