Plow driver facing charges



A Sierra Village business owner was jailed Saturday after 10 witnesses say he buried a car and a pay telephone with his snowplow.

Frederick Lee Guthmiller, 41, who operates Sierra Village Chevron, was released from the Tuolumne County Jail on $30,000 bail within hours of being booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon his snowplow.

According to a sheriff's report, Marcus Martinez, 59, of Modesto called 911 from a pay telephone to complain that a snowplow operator was "going crazy, terrorizing people."

Martinez, along with friends and relatives, had driven up to the mountains in three cars for a day in the snow, the report said. About 2:30 p.m., Martinez said, all three pulled off Highway 108 in front of Sierra Village Chevron.

They were among numerous cars parked near the station, said Ana Lee, who, with her husband and children, were part of the Martinez group. Some of the drivers were putting on chains.

"There was nowhere else to go because of all the cars, it wasn't like we were the only ones parked there," Lee said this morning.

Martinez's daughter took advantage of the break to find a restroom and took her car keys with her, the report said.

Within moments, Guthmiller came out of the station and began yelling obscenities at all the drivers, ordering them to move their cars.

Most of the drivers did so. But because Martinez's daughter had taken the keys with her, her car remained.

That's when Guthmiller got into his snowplow tractor, started taking snow from a nearby embankment and dumped it on and around the parked car all while yelling obscenities, Martinez told a deputy.

Lee's seventh-grade daughter and other teens sitting inside the car jumped out before it got boxed in with snow, Lee said.

After dumping several loads of snow and blocking it in, Guthmiller got out of the snowplow and approached Jerry Sanders, 38, of St. Joseph, Mo., who was part of the Martinez-Lee group.

The Union Democrat
This image is copyrighted.

Reach all of Sonora, Calaveras County, Tuolumne, Angels Camp, Twain Harte, & Jamestown with your items to sell.

Ads appear Online and in Print

View Classifieds Place an Ad

Connect with The Union Democrat

Union Democrat Newsstand

Tuesday October 25, 2016

Read digital interactive editions of our publications

Read Today's Edition Take A Tour

More Publications by The Union Democrat

View All Publications
Paying the price


Chris Lusardi, of Sonora, is one of thousands of Tuolumne County residents ... more

Columbia Elementary board ousts superintendent


Five days after receiving a 2 percent raise, Columbia Union School District ... more

New oak disease spreads from coast to foothills


A deadly fungus killing oak trees along the coasts of central and ... more

Mudslide knocks out a portion of TUD’s ditch system


The Columbia ditch will be closed until Saturday, following a mudslide that ... more

Battle for cannabis regulation in Calaveras wages on


Strong opinions and loud accusations have made the battle over cannabis cultivation ... more