Patient robbed of pot

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Robbers, some with shotguns and machetes, held up and hurt a Vallecito man at his home Tuesday evening before stealing marijuana from his garden.

Bill Harrison, 53, has a license to grow marijuana for medicinal purposes. He said his home, near the intersection of Highway 4 and Parrotts Ferry Road, had possibly been staked out for the past two weeks.

Harrison said there were seven to 10 robbers, at least two of whom had guns. He said some were in their teens and some appeared to be in their 20s.

"I am in disbelief that minors are armed and coming here to rob with greed and hate and intention," Harrison said.

However, a Calaveras County Sheriff's Department report says four people wearing ski masks invaded Harrison's home. Three were described as white men in their early 20s and the fourth was described as possibly Hispanic, in his early 20s. The report says the men were armed and fired twice at Harrison.

Gregory Sturgis, 47, a friend staying at Harrison's home, arrived there from the grocery store shortly before 9 p.m. Tuesday and saw a U-haul truck parked at the gate to the property.

Sturgis immediately opened the gate and went to check on Harrison because it was dark and he felt something was wrong, Harrison said.

Harrison was inside the house, and after Sturgis told him about the U-Haul, Harrison said he went out on the porch and fired two blanks from his starting pistol, hoping to scare off any intruders.

That's when he saw someone in the dark staring at him, he said, while two others were close behind.

One man told him to put his hands up, so Harrison threw his gun on the ground. Harrison said the man fired twice at him, and while he wasn't hit with a bullet, he was hit on the head with a gun.

"I felt the wind from the bullet," Harrison said yesterday from the same porch where he was held at gunpoint less than 24 hours earlier. "I don't know how we didn't get hit. We're lucky to be alive."

Meanwhile, other suspects pushed Sturgis to the ground and dragged him 400 feet up the driveway with a bag over his head. Harrison said the robbers yelled "We're going to kill you" at Sturgis, and threatened to kill Harrison's three dogs.

The Union Democrat
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